Last night, CNN's Anderson Cooper ran a segment that showed the network's enhanced audio technology to determine if in indeed George Zimmerman, who shot Trayvon Martin on February 26 but still walks the street, said the racial slur "f-ing c—ns" on the 911 call Zimmerman made just minutes before the shooting. Here is the segment:
Our take is pretty simple: even with all the audio enhancements, the evidence is still inconclusive. Is it possible that Zimmerman said the slur on the call? Sure. Do we think they he said it? Yes. Did he 100% without a shadow of a doubt say it? No one can confirm that yet, even the CNN reporters who carefully couched their comments to protect their opinions.
Of course, if proven (and basically, unless Zimmerman admits to it or if an eyewitness testifies saying that he did indeed say the slur), then a true "hate crime" charge can be brought against Zimmerman. However, outlets like CNN should know better. There is the reporting of fact, and then there is conjecture and circumstantial fact. We think that no outlet can actually prove that Zimmerman did indeed say the offending and racist slur, but they can sure speculate about it and use technology to advance their speculation. In the meantime, any competent defense lawyer would have plenty of information already to suggest that someone like Zimmerman is already being singled out. We also think that the Sanford police failed big time in missing the audio from the call in the first place, which leads to more serious questions about the investigation.
To all those who think we are defending Zimmerman, that is just not true. Believe us, we so wanted definitive proof of the call because then the DOJ would take like an hour to charge Zimmerman with a hate crime. However, we also think that there is enough of a case (Zimmerman's "paranoia" of young black men) to bring it to a case. This is not about what Zimmerman said, but can it be proven that he said it? We are just questioning the tactics of how the mainstream media uses "possibilities" and "alleged" in certain cases to raise issues. Of course, if there were definitive proof of a racial slur said, it would be huge. Nonetheless, even if everyone is 99.9% sure, there is still doubt, and that is why eventually this case will need to be brought to trail (we see no reason why it won't at this stage) and a real legal discussion begins.
As much as we despise the act and the tragedy, we think that major media outlets are just sensationalizing this part of the story. Is it an important part of the story? Yes. Can anyone right now prove that he said it defnitively by listening to it? No. Are there other parts of the story and case offering more compelling evidence that Zimmerman killed Martin and it was not in self-defense? Yes. And that should be the key issue here. If Zimmerman does admit to saying the slur, then it is a different story. Right now, it just makes for good old-fashioned razzle-dazzle news entertainment.