Posted on Wed, July 17, 2013 at 02:43 p.m. (EST) & 12:13 a.m. (IST),  JULY 2013 Edition

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“Holder's Hot Pursuit Portrays Reverse Racism Zoning Zimmerman!

Ramesh C. Reddy

When injustice happens, human nature is to look for justice! It has been no different in the George Zimmerman case where Zimmerman was accused and charged for the tragic death of 17-year old Trayvon Martin. The problem Attorney General Eric Holder and many protestors have is that justice was not served because Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges on Saturday, July 13, 2013 by a six-member jury of his peers.

Many protestors across the nation have been very upset that Zimmerman is free while the family and friends of Martin are in bondage to the pain of losing Martin without Zimmerman paying for it.

It is a tragedy when anyone loses their life and it becomes exponential when the party responsible for the death is not held responsible. Hence the outcry to bring federal civil rights criminal charges against Zimmerman.

But is this the ethical way to go?

Holder should know the importance of upholding the law even if he does not agree with the final decision. It is not his place to second guess the jury and get the Justice Department involved especially since the Justice Department has a policy of not involving itself in state matters unless there is inappropriateness.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the policy says, ‘State courts incompetence, corruption, intimidation or undue influence’, can justify the filing of federal charges following an acquittal, as can a jury’s disregard for the evidence or the emergence of new information! “

There are no allegations that any of this occurred on the state level for the Justice Department to get involved. Usually, federal criminal civil rights charges are filed when it is a racial issue. However, the state prosecutors did not even make this into a racial issue.

Florida State Attorney Angela Corey who prosecuted Zimmerman said, “This case has never been about race….”

Now if the Justice Department gets involved and makes this into a racial issue because of pressure from special interest groups, they are not doing their job ethically.

It is so sad and a tragedy that Martin died in a confrontation with Zimmerman but Zimmerman was using the state’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law that allows a person to defend themselves, if they believe their life is in danger, even if it involves deadly force.

It is the responsibility of the state to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, that Zimmerman is guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter, as the burden of proof but there was reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors so they could not convict Zimmerman. No jury in their right mind would have convicted Zimmerman based on this burden of proof so he was acquitted in light of the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law.

Does that mean he is not guilty of the murder of Martin?

We cannot say that because an acquittal does not mean a person is not guilty of a crime but only that the evidence heard by the jury was not beyond a reasonable doubt to convict. Zimmerman may or may not be guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter, for only God and himself know the motive that transpired that night whether it was self-defense or not.

What we do know is, according to our laws even if people believe Zimmerman got away with murder, a defendant cannot be put in a position of double jeopardy.

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, '....Nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb....."

There are those who would want you to believe it is not double jeopardy to retry Zimmerman on a federal level and they are partially right.

"In rare instances a person may be tried for a different crime based on some of the same facts which were used to try him/her when he/she was acquitted. A prime example is the use of the Federal Civil Rights Act to charge a person with violation of another's civil rights by killing him, after a state murder case had resulted in an acquittal, as happened in the 1994 trials for the death of civil rights leader Medgar Evans and freedom riders Andrew Goldman, Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Viola Liuzzo"  (Source:

For the most part the federal government does not get involved if a state government prosecuted someone and they were found not guilty.

"The U.S. Department of Justice has developed an internal restriction on pursuing a prosecution after state prosecution has failed. Federal prosecutors under this restriction may only pursue a second prosecution under compelling reasons, and the prosecutor must obtain prior approval from the assistant attorney general prior to bringing the prosecution. This restriction is called the "Petite Policy," named after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Petite v. United States" (Source:

Holder should adhere to this policy when it comes to Zimmerman otherwise he is putting Zimmerman's freedom at risk  especially since there is no compelling reason to get away from the 'Stand Your Ground' law. Also the compelling reasons have to be very narrow as stated earlier regarding the policy.

If Zimmerman is guilty, even though acquitted, justice will be served one way or the other because a guilt ridden person’s conscience will not let him be at peace.

“Anyone tormented by the guilt of murder will seek refuge in the grave; let no one hold them back!” (Proverbs 28:17)

When it comes to the law, we cannot become vigilantes under the disguise of justice to get our revenge one way or the other. It is not our call no matter how painful the outcome is when we believe it is the responsibility of the courts to uphold the law. Sometimes that means even the guilty go free because of the burden of proof requirement but “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord!”

We need not look further than the heinous double homicide that O.J. Simpson was charged with and prosecuted for. However, Simpson was acquitted by a jury of his peers because the burden of proof: ‘Beyond a reasonable doubt’ was not met.

It is my opinion that justice still was served even though it was delayed justice because he was found guilty in a wrongful death lawsuit causing him to declare bankruptcy. Not only that but later he was charged and prosecuted for armed robbery which he was convicted for. Now, Simpson is in prison for more than 33 years.

The point being is if Zimmerman has a criminal mind and is guilty of anything beyond self-defense against Martin that caused his death, then justice will be served one day even if it is delayed justice. But, let me reiterate that it is not the Justice Department’s role to get involved since there was no impropriety even if the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) wants to make this a racial issue filing a petition for federal criminal civil rights charges.

What irks me is the decision of Holder to get involved in this particular case because of the pressure he is receiving when the Justice Department did not get involved in the O.J. Simpson case. Even more than that, it is the conflict of interest that is brewing in this whole tragedy.

It is important to mention that President Obama, who is black, appointed Attorney General Holder, who is black, who wants to get justice for the tragic death of Martin, who is black! It is also important to mention the amount of time Holder spent talking to the NAACP about the Zimmerman case. Therefore, Holder is not fit to prosecute this case on a federal level because of the conflict of interest!

The Justice Department cannot pick and choose who to prosecute and who not to prosecute on federal criminal civil rights charges just because of their own personal experiences such as what Holder shared with the NAACP.

Under the Clinton Administration, President Bill Clinton, who is white, appointed Attorney General Janet Reno, who is white, who found out that Simpson was acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Lyle Goldman, who are both white. Reno did not ask the Justice Department to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against Simpson.

What is worse is that the NAACP did not even get involved to give justice to the families of Brown and Goldman when they are all about civil rights.

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous wrote, “The most fundamental of civil rights – the right to life – was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Taryvon Martin. We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation.”

If the NAACP sees the right to life as the most fundamental of civil rights, where was the NAACP to file a petition on behalf of Brown and Goldman?

They did not get involved because to them the ‘right to life’ as a fundamental of civil rights is one-sided. It only applies when the victim is black otherwise they should have intervened. Not only that but to evoke the ‘right to life’ as a fundamental of civil rights makes them so hypocritical because the NAACP has shown ardent support for abortion.

Will the NAACP agree that everyone who has had an abortion should be charged federally with civil rights criminal charges because the ‘right to life’ was violated?

We know the answer is ‘No!’

My point being is that there seems to be no consistency with the NAACP or Justice Department unless it involves their own. This is reverse racism at best by the NAACP or Holder if they continue to pursue for federal criminal civil rights charges against Zimmerman.

My favorite employment mentor, who is black, has influenced me greatly when it comes to perception and consistency. He is a general manager of a well-respected company who has helped me to rise in the ranks.

He would say something to the effect, ‘Ramesh, it is very important to be consistent across the board when it comes to discipline or rewards so there is no perception of impropriety or discrimination. When we are not consistent is when we open ourselves to all kinds of problems.”

It is this philosophy that is applied by me to Holder’s pursuit of the Zimmerman case because there is no consistency with the Justice Department or the NAACP which Holder supports.

Based on an individual’s perception, it can be clearly seen that reverse racism is at work from the Justice Department regardless of who is at the helm.

Are the deaths of white victims Brown & Goldman or the innocent deaths of those that have been aborted any less significant than the black victim Martin?

If we are honest, we will say that all 4 are deaths that are tragic without justice as we want to see it!

But that cannot cloud our sense of ethics to be consistent with the justice of discipline. We cannot have a double standard based on race for justice because then it becomes reverse racism. In this case, it is against Zimmerman.

In conclusion, the Justice Department and NAACP should back of in pursuing federal criminal civil rights charges against Zimmerman because the state has shown that the prosecution was not race based and the defense has shown that Zimmerman was defending himself against Martin using Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws.

Taking of a life is tragic whether it is in self-defense or not but as a society we have come to accept the fact that self-defense can probably cause people to lose their lives. Many police officers kill in the line of duty in self-defense but we do not hear cries for federal civil rights criminal charges against every officer based on ‘the fundamental basic civil right of ‘right to life’. It does not happen.

If Zimmerman is guilty, justice will take its course!  Let it however be in a civil court trying him for wrongful death because then the burden of proof is only preponderance of evidence that has to be met. If ‘Stand Your Ground’ law of self-defense cannot be applied in the ‘wrongful death’ suit, he will be found guilty of the tragic death of Martin.

The Justice Department of the Obama administration under the helm of Holder is already blemished and this act will only add on to the blemish.

Allegheny County of Pittsburgh that voted heavily for President Obama has majority of citizens who don’t believe that Zimmerman should be charged federally on civil rights criminal charges according to a News Radio KQV AM 1410 listener poll:

According to the Tribune-Review, when asked, ‘Do you believe the Justice Department should file criminal civil rights charges against Zimmerman for the shooting death of Martin?’ the results showed 230 (8 percent) people who said ‘Yes’ and a whopping 2,604 (92 percent) who said ‘No’.

For the many antagonists that are against Zimmerman there are also proponents for the support of Zimmerman who don’t want him to be tried federally. Based on my reasons, I stand with those that said ‘NO’! You should too if you agree with the reasons!

Speaking out against federal civil rights criminal charges against Zimmerman does not ever negate the fact that a tragedy occurred in the Martin family’s life and Zimmerman will have to live the rest of his life knowing he took the life of a teenager even if it was in self-defense.

If this case irks you and upsets you very much, you should watch ‘ A Time to Kill’ which will raise more questions for discussion especially the  ending of the movie.

Still let us not tarnish the court system of the state by trying to recharge Zimmerman.

Ramesh C. Reddy can be reached at and will publish all letters to the editor in due time!

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