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Joe Scarborough: Sanford police chief, prosecutor "acted shamefully... should be forced from office" in Trayvon Martin case

IMG_scarborough.JPG_2_1_3H1U57K3Joe Scarborough, the former Republican Pensacola-area congressman and current host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, just took a brickbat to the authorities overseeing the Travyon Martin shooting. Scarborough, like almost every other observer, said he was shocked that Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee and State Attorney Norman Wolfinger have neither arrested nor charged George Zimmerman in the shooting death of the 17 year old on Feb. 26.

"They are not worthy of the public trust," Scarborough said. "They acted shamefully. They should be forced from office."

Scarborough also called on his fellow Republicans who control state government. "I know people watch this show in Tallahassee. I know Pam Bondi watches this show," Scarborough said of the Florida attorney general. "They better move in fast in this case."

So far, they haven't.

Gov. Rick Scott initially refused to get the Florida Department of Law Enforcement involved in the probe but on Monday night called in the state police to assist in the investigation just as the US Department of Justice and the FBI announced their pending involvement.

Bondi said she wouldn't interfere. But, she said in a written statement issued yesterday, that she's monitoring the case.

“I am both devastated and deeply troubled that young Trayvon Martin lost his life in a shooting," she said.  "When someone loses his life at the hands of another, there cannot be any questions surrounding the circumstances of the death.

“I have spoken to FDLE Commissioner Bailey, whose agency is now involved, and I know that a complete and thorough review of the facts will be conducted.  FDLE has skilled investigators of the highest caliber, and no stone will be left unturned in this investigation. While the Seminole County State Attorney’s Office has the sole authority regarding a charging decision by law, I will remain vigilant in ensuring that questions are answered.”

The state attorney has announced he'll empanel a grand jury on April 10. The police chief, who is facing calls from the local NAACP to resign, has said for days that his department couldn't arrest Zimmerman because there was no evidence to dispute his version of events -- that Trayvon attacked him.

However, recently released 911 tapes and the statement from a friend of Trayvon's who said she spoke on the phone with the teen just before he was shot, cast doubt on Zimmerman's claims. Also, the framers of the state's self-defense law nicknamed "Stand Your Ground" said they believe Zimmerman deserves to be arrested.

It appears that, in the limited investigation after the shooting, police did little to double-check Zimmerman's story. They didn't immediately contact Trayvon's father -- even though they had the teen's cell phone. But they drug tested the dead child -- not Zimmerman.

Comments

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bobbie

This is absolutely insane.

If it were my child - bring Zimmerman to me - I would cut it off & while he is choking on it -well you know the rest

harry houdini

How do you drug test the victim( he is a victim because he is dead) and not the person who shot him? In DUI cases, way before they go to trial, the person causing the accident is drug tested. Why not in this case. No wonder everyone is outraged!

David Rivers

This is a tragedy. I have not read any (serious person) anywhere say anything to the contrary. However, one of the first things you learn in law school is that good cases often make bad law. Just becuase we have a tragedy does not mean we throw out the Constitution and and behave with a lynch-mob mentality. Just because the lynch-mob is after a white does not make it any less of a lynch-mob. To all those clamoring for justice I say YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT! and if it was your son, brother, father, etc being accused you would all expect and DEMAND fairness. So far, I have not heard one single piece of evidence that would be determinative in this matter. Does it look bad? Possibly. Should we search for more evidence? Absolutely. But charge a man? Based on what? Bring forward more evidence and then let's talk about charging someone.

Jill Matthews

Evidently David Rivers can not read! Have your head been under a stone these last few days? With all the evidence that has come out...this man should be arrested. Color is not a issue here, it just so happen Trayvon is black. If is was a white, red, yellow child I would cry just as loud! Can't you people get pass this color thing? A child is dead for just walking home! He was someone son, grandson, brother....

Matt

To David Rivers who says that we dont know what happened you are an idiot for thinking that he should not be in jail. The boy was running away and he chased him even after being told not to. The boy was unarmed and was not bothering anyone. Have you heard the phone conversation and have you been informed of all the phone calls that this criminal has made to 911 in the past. He was looking for trouble and the young man was in the wrong place in his eyes. I am a father of a young man and if it were my son this idiot would need protection and I guess I could say that he was a threat to me so I shot him.

Chirs Hart

David Rivers, you are blind to the fact that the dispactcher told Zimmeran notto engage with the teen.

AL

A hoodie, jeans, and wearing a pair of Jordans,,,I see this everyday on white men, white boys, black men, black boys, Latino males, heck, even a few women, but to George Zimmerman, this was the profile of a dangerous man, a man who turned out to be boy with skittles and ice tea in his pocket and talking to his girlfriend as he walked back home. George Zimmerman was the aggressor and the stalker, and the one with the gun, which make him this boy's killer, point blank. Asked yourself, what if someone approach you in a similar manner or fashion as Zimmerman approached Travon. Simply listen to the 911 calls, one can believe that Zimmerman did not approach this kid by saying "Excuse Me Sir", Zimmerman acted out his actions even after Travon begged for his life. Now George Zimmerman is the wanted man, if not by the police, but by the real thugs of Florida.

CSI retired

This matter has nothing to do with the "stand ground" rule which is LIMITED to matters of home invasion, or abduction from your automobile. SILVERMAN violated every rule under FL Weapons law, and the limited scope of Civilian Watch protocol which is to: Observe and Report Only.

There was NO justified reason for the use of deadly force, period - under FS790 - which clearly states that you can only use deadly force if you, or others are being subjected to an imminent use deadly force by and aggressor/s. SILVERMAN had no right to pursue, attempt to detain, or use deadly force.

Jerry

Obviously this is a terrible story, a real tragedy, and the guy looks like he needs to be tried and most likely convicted of murder, but since when are police agencies "covering up" the murder of blacks by Mexicans? That's a new one to me. (If you don't get this post, Zimmerman is Mexican).

AL

Black on Black, White on Black, Hispanic on Black, should not matter, I dont care what the race is, a boy is dead for having on a hoodie, pants, and wearing jordans, with skittles and ice tea in his pants. For the white contruction workers to plumbers, to white atheletes, or a white man chilling on a saturday morning with the kids, but what if you were targeted or your child was targeted by a physco, how would this make you feel that your son died for simply wearing a hoodie, jeans , and Jordans. A sad case. My money will never go to any Sanfor business or entity, or go to pay for those police officers' salary. The entire city is banned for me.

Patrice

Race should not matter. But something kept the police from performing the most cursory of investigations. SOMETHING had them telling witnesses giving statements that no, it was Zimmerman yelling for help. SOMETHING stopped them from performing a drug and alcohol scene on a person claiming to have killed in self-defense. What was that something? Lots of people believe it was race. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't, bu I think it is in the public's best interest that the mishandling of a homicide is investigated.

The Ramseys were demonized in the public for years because the police department gave them preferential treatment that compromised any evidence. They lived under a cloud of suspicion for 12 years before being cleared of wrongdoing. If the police had done their job the would not have faced such public national rancor. OJ Simpson was correctly found not guilty because the police investigation inserted reasonable doubt.

Why would any department start a coverup instead of an investigation at the scene of a homicide?

MG

I am amazed at the grace and composure that the family has been able to show despite these horrific circumstances and wish them every strength moving forward. As outraged as I am by Mr. Zimmerman's actions, I have an almost palpable contempt for the Sanford Police Department. Just as George Z had no right to make any of his missteps - overzealous profiling, leaving the vehicle and confronting, drawing a gun - the Sanford Police Dept. (presumably not psychotics or racists) have failed a young man, his family and the entire community of which it is supposed to serve.

How the *%*$ could Sanford Police - knowing that he killed this 17-year-old unarmed young man, not apprehend and arrest him? Yes, George Z would still get his day in court and that stupid SYG law/defense could be invoked - not that even this law would begin to cover his butt. How dare the police thwart a true investigation and trial.
How dare they ignore the victim's (and family's) rights.

It is because of whatever demons that George Z had/has that a young man lost his life and promise way, way, way too soon. It is because of the inaction - and likely, shenanigans - of the Sanford PD that this incident is what it is and innocent people of all ages, races and ethnic groups are feeling insecure, outraged and a little helpless.

Ginger Vela

They drug tested the dead child. How horrible. This is a tragedy of the highest order. Justice has to be done.

Ford Howard

I'm amazed at the post of people saying this is not a racial matter because the murderer was part mexican he went after the kid because he was black eventhough the cops told him not too. Zimmerman planned this.. he said he was tired of the a## holes getting away with stuff. A kid is dead, the police department should be held accountable

Ren Moses

Has our country come to this -- "If I do not like you, I provoke a confrotation, allow you to give me a bloody nose, and then shoot you dead."

Imagine if this is allowed to stand, how many of us with scary faces will disappear from the face of the earth!!

rick sisser

Joe's is right...this is a miscarriage of justice...If it was a black man shooting a white kid ....the black would have already been lynched...with the permission of the Sanford(what century do they live in)Police Department...Florida law enforcement needs to join the 21st century.

shonda

You mean to tell me that in Sandford Florida or any where in Florida that if I'm interpreting the law as the Sandford Police department has. I can see someone walking down my street, chase them, fight with them and then ultimately shoot them and NOT GO TO JAIL???
Then ALL over zealous cop wannabe's should move to Sandford Flrodia !!!!!

Packard Day

Has anyone thought to contact either "The Duke 88" faculty members or the Reverend Al Sharpton to get their opinions on the merits of this case?

Between the brutal rapes and senseless abductions of Crystol Mangum and Tawana Brawley by wealthy, educated, and white perpetrators; these men and women have proven themselves veritable exemplars in the field of racial healing.

John Totten

We'll see how serious Bondi is. There's a Rule of Law which says 'a Prosecutor can get a ham sandwich indicted--- unless he doesn't want to'.
Joe's 100% correct. Whatever happens to Trayvon's case, this Sheriff and local Prosecutor have proven themselves and their agencies incompetent.

j

Zimmerman and a large number of American kids are raised and brain washed to believe they are superior over all minority race, that they are the only law, moral, religious correct, the cop, the world cop, out to do justice by initiate aggressive actions to satisfy their own blood thirst.
They don't know much about tolerance and humility.

pray

The only way to win is by a law suit, sue t
There's enough evidence in this case to sue the entire police department the community and the city of sanford. Zimmerman will plea and get 5 year for manslaughter

Rachel

To people who keep bringing up the point that Zimmerman is Hispanic or Mexican therefore this can`t be racially motivated. First of all, Hispanic or Mexican is description of ethnicity, NOT a race! Have you never heard of White Hispanic or White Mexican? No? You live under a stone. Secondly, before his father revealed Zimmerman was Hispanic everybody took him as White including the Sanford P.D. And that is very important because he was perceived as White and that is all that counts with regards to how he was treated by the police. The police treat him as he is White so any racism committed by Sanfard PD is obviously results of this perception. Thirdly we don`t know how Zimmerman identified himself - he`s half White half Hispanic (?) at the time of the killing but there is a revealing clue - he used `f****ng coons` in one of his 911 calls. I don`t know about you but that is a pretty racist thing to say don`t you think so? So yeah chances are he is a racist and it has nothing to do with whether he is or perceives himself a White or Hispanic person.

SanfordResident

I would like to say I live here in Sanford. The real problem is not the police department or the chief. Which is a stellar person. I could not have picked a more fair and honest man to run the department. I would also like to educate the public on the florida law in this case. If at the time of investiagation if Zimmerman's story could not be disputed then the law states they cannot arrest him. If they did arrest him the city of sanford could be sued which cost taxpayers alot of money.The information has been passed on to state attorneys office which is the normal process they decide now by the grand jury if they can prosecute. The sanford police does not write the laws! Im tired of all these rally's it is doing no good. It is not going to change the law for this case! If they lobby to change the laws this case still will remain under the current law. I wish to restore peace in my community. This is not racial. 40% of sanford is black. Another 40% is hispanic, mexican. Of course statistically it would involve these races.

Joe

To SanfordResident: you are right about the Sanford police did not write the law but they did assume, for whatever reasons, without ANY due diligent investigations, they ASSUMED that Zimmerman was honest and took whatever he said in face value. Come on! How convenient is that while the victim could not speak up for himself because he was shot dead! That really shows how much regards/respect the police had for the life of the dead kid who has no means to speak up for himself now because he is dead. Any CSI viewer could have done a less botchy investigation (or non-investigation) than what the Sanford PD has done in this case. The police did not send a homicide detective despite of a killing case, they took drug and alcohol test on the dead victim who was a kid instead of the killer who was an adult, they conducted background checks on the dead kid instead of the adult killer, they did not inform the dead kid`s parent for days even though they had his cellphone and it kept ringing because his parents had been desperately calling him, they did not even attempt to look for any evidence to counter the killer`s account. Yeah you surely can be proud of your police. If I were you and black I`d be moving or uproaring. But hey I don`t know you maybe you are neither...

Marcus

Up next on Comedy Central,
CSI Sanford

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