“This defendant decided that the victim was up to no good,” said prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda. The prosecutor said, “In the defendant’s mind, this was a criminal, and he was tired of criminals out there. That’s not a bad thing…but he went over the line.” de la Rionda claimed that Zimmerman wanted to make sure that Trayvon Martin didn’t get out of the neighborhood. “This defendant was sick and tired of it, and so he decided he was going to be what he wanted to be: a police officer,” said the prosecutor. “He assumed Trayvon Martin was a criminal. That’s why we’re here.”
The prosecutor tried to place heavy emphasis on the fact that Zimmerman was following Trayvon Martin, despite the fact that Zimmerman tracking Martin was not illegal. The judge has already said that in her jury instructions, she will not inform the jury that it was legal for Zimmerman to follow Martin. The legal case against Zimmerman has nothing to do with his following Martin; the prosecution must prove that Zimmerman started a fight with Martin without regard to whether it would lead to murder.
The prosecutor admitted there was no crime in Zimmerman following Trayvon Martin or carrying a gun, but added, “It’s important to recognize that this led to Trayvon Martin being killed.”
“What started this?” asked de la Rionda. “Assumptions. Incorrect assumptions on the part of one individual….This innocent 17-year-old kid was profiled as a criminal. To quote the defendant, and pardon my language, he was one of those a–holes who get away. He was one of those f—ing punks.” de la Rionda said that because Zimmerman uttered it under his breath, that indicated ill will or hatred, elements of the crime of second-degree murder.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).