ACLU Tells Obama Administration to Leave George Zimmerman Alone
The American Civil Liberties Union wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder making clear its position on the outcome of the Zimmerman trial, and expressing a sentiment that should be permeating throughout the entire nation: the American judicial system has spoken, we as a nation must honor that, and we must move forward.
Laura W. Murphy and Jesselyn McCurdy, respectively the director and the senior legislative council to the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, plainly wrote: "A jury found Zimmerman not guilty, and that should be the end of the criminal case." They are right; George Zimmerman is a free man and there is no reason that he should remain under public scrutiny, or, for that matter, in the public view.
Regardless of a person's beliefs about Mr. Zimmerman or what his intentions may or may not have been, a court ensured that he has the same rights as every other free person in the nation, and the ACLU is right to reinforce that in their letter.
There is another dimension, however, that the ACLU touches on pertaining to this case, which they do in a more forward-looking manner than most others who have publicly lamented the tragedy of Trayvon Martin's death. Despite common misperception, there is no substantial proof that racial profiling was at the root of the tragedy. That said, the ACLU makes a compelling case that the best way to ensure justice in the future — and not just justice in courts, but civil justice on the streets — is beginning with government officials and law enforcement.
Noting that "average citizens can be influenced by the conduct of law enforcement, and problematic practices by public officials can increase the likelihood of bad judgment and actions by private actors," the ACLU makes a critical point. The reason that so many people across the nation assume that George Zimmerman was motivated by racial bias is because it is an undeniable occurrence in American society.
In its letter, the ACLU cites multiple cases where black, young men have been victims of police shootings for no other reason than racism — cases that are inexcusable. Instead of dwelling and speculating on George Zimmerman, America and its leaders need to look at the practical flaws in our society and fix them. That is the only way that progress has ever been made, and it is the only way that progress will be made.