July 13, 2012
THIS IS LOOKING MORE AND MORE LIKE A LYNCHING: Detective in Zimmerman case said he was pressured to file charges.
Telling the FBI that he was concerned that people inside the police department were leaking information, Serino cited Sgt. Arthur Barnes, officers Rebecca Villalona and Trekelle Perkins “as all pressuring him to file charges against Zimmerman after the incident,” an FBI report said. “Serino did not believe he had enough evidence at the time to file charges.”
The summary of Serino’s statement does not mention the race of the officers who allegedly pressured him, but sources told The Miami Herald that Barnes and Perkins are black, and Villalona is married to an African-American man. All three, the source said, had been called in by their supervisor and questioned about leaking information in the case.
A request Thursday evening to the Sanford Police Department for comment about Serino’s statement went unanswered. . . . Records released Thursday show that Sgt. Barnes, a 25-year veteran of the department, told the FBI that he believed the black community would be “in an uproar” if Zimmerman was not charged. “The community will be satisfied if an arrest takes place,” the FBI quoted him saying.
The Florida man charged with second-degree murder in the killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin asked for a new judge in his case on Friday, accusing the current judge of bias.
Lawyers for George Zimmerman filed a motion requesting that Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester withdraw from the trial.
Zimmerman alleged in the filing that Lester made “gratuitous” and “disparaging remarks” about him during a July 5 bond hearing and offered “a personal opinion” in the case.
“In doing so, the Court has created a reasonable fear in Mr. Zimmerman that this Court is biased against him and because of this prejudice he cannot receive a fair and impartial trial or hearing by this Court,” the motion said.
I think that Zimmerman’s lawyers feel the tide is turning.
UPDATE: Steven Den Beste emails: “It’s reminding me of the Duke LaCrosse case. That one ended with the prosecutor getting disbarred for gross misconduct.” Yes, and he did a small amount of jail time, though not nearly enough. Then he went bankrupt.