Wednesday July 24, 2013

A friend tells me I shouldn't waste time on the latest ridiculous column by Alden Graves (July 18, re the Zimmerman case). But readers need to know that Graves has conveniently overlooked the facts in writing that Trayvon Martin "landed a couple of blows on his attacker" and George Zimmerman "had the almighty gall to claim he killed the young man in self-defense."

ONE. No evidence supports Zimmerman as an "attacker." Actually, according to the only witness who saw the event, Martin was the one on top in this struggle (and this was confirmed by forensic analysis of Martin's hooded sweatshirt -- Martin was facing down when he was shot).

TWO. As we saw repeatedly on television, Zimmerman received more than the mild damage suggested by "a couple of blows." His head was bloodied on the concrete by Martin, and his nose was broken by Martin.

THREE. We must ask whether Graves wouldn't reasonably have feared for his own life if he had been in that situation -- being beaten up by a man on top of him -- no matter what the skin color of the man on top of him.

It's certainly unfortunate that the contact between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman led to the death of the young black man. But let's be clear about the facts of this struggle. That's what jurors must always do, and I believe that's what the jurors did in his case.

ELLEN PERRY BERKELEY

Bennington