Reuters Publishes a Major Walkback on George Zimmerman
Among the piece's revelations, George Zimmerman was not a self-appointed neighborhood crime watcher. As crime incidents and break-ins increased in his Sanford, FL neighborhood, he came to be known as someone who cared and was willing to step up.
The Retreat at Twin Lakes e-newsletter for February 2012 noted: "The Sanford PD has announced an increased patrol within our neighborhood ... during peak crime hours.
"If you've been a victim of a crime in the community, after calling police, please contact our captain, George Zimmerman."
"Our captain." So much for the lone wolf vigilante meme that has dominated this story. And so much for the racism angle:
The 28-year-old insurance-fraud investigator comes from a deeply Catholic background and was taught in his early years to do right by those less fortunate. He was raised in a racially integrated household and himself has black roots through an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather - the father of the maternal grandmother who helped raise him.
But here's the money quote:
A criminal justice student who aspired to become a judge, Zimmerman also concerned himself with the safety of his neighbors after a series of break-ins committed by young African-American men.
Though civil rights demonstrators have argued Zimmerman should not have prejudged Martin, one black neighbor of the Zimmermans said recent history should be taken into account.
"Let's talk about the elephant in the room. I'm black, OK?" the woman said, declining to be identified because she anticipated backlash due to her race. She leaned in to look a reporter directly in the eyes. "There were black boys robbing houses in this neighborhood," she said. "That's why George was suspicious of Trayvon Martin."
It's a great piece worth reading and sharing, but it's tragic that Reuters didn't conduct this investigation before NBC, the NYT, ABC and CNN had all run with various takes on "this guy is a dangerous nutcase and stand your ground laws imperil us all!!!"
To recap: Not a self-appointed vigilante. Not a racist. Did not utter a racist slur and was not suspicious of Martin because of his skin color. Stand your ground laws probably don't apply to his case.
Other than that, the MSM has done a bang-up job on this story.