BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander tonight weighed in with reaction to the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case. He posted the comments on his blog — comments we by and large agree with. We are republishing his blog post in its entirety.
But before we do, here's our take:
Justice isn't a jury reaching a decision that you like. Justice is the process of that jury being called upon to make a decision in the first place. Justice is both sides being permitted to present evidence to make their argument or refute the other side's. Justice is knowing that you are innocent until a prosecutor proves otherwise. As we have printed on every page of this website — an arrest is nothing more than an accusation. Guilt or innocence is determined in court. Being arrested is not the same as being convicted.
For those still calling for “Justice for Trayvon,” we believe there is a lack of understanding of what justice truly is. The State's case was weak which made the Defense's case stronger. The jury determined that George Zimmerman was not guilty. That's not racism. That's the judicial system. A call by civil rights leaders for George Zimmerman to face federal charges, a civil suit, or just be summarily executed by a vigilante — as a teen's Twitter tweet suggested (leading to an arrest) — isn't justice. That falls somewhere between media grandstanding and Hamurabi's Code.
It is our belief that justice was served. The outcome may not have been what some wanted, but the fact that there was a public trial that anyone could watch featuring attorneys who had more than a year to prepare is — we submit to our readers — justice in and of itself.
Boca Police Chief Dan Alexander's Post On George Zimmerman
I'm still recovering from the Zimmerman trial hangover. Many people have asked me about this case and there is considerable disagreement about the outcome, even in law enforcement circles. I did not sit in the courtroom and weigh the evidence like a member of the jury, so I'm not qualified to publicly express my opinion about the verdict. Privately, maybe. Not here. I did watch enough of the Zimmerman case to arrive at a few general conclusions.
First, we still have the best justice system in the world. Anything designed by humans will have its flaws, but our founders wanted “due process” and fundamental fairness. In this case the rules were followed and the defendant got a fair shake. Again, I'm not endorsing the outcome, I'm talking about the process.
A word or two about the media. In our über-connected culture, we (along with prosecutors) need to do a better job of putting information out, particularly in these high profile situations. There's no magical formula to determine what's going to get traction. It's not easy, but some cases are obvious candidates. The info needs to go out early and often.
A few of these news outlets were simply painful to watch. It would be nice to see some degree of objectivity and balance. Choose your info sources wisely. In the interest of maintaining my own sanity, I click through them all. There are still some good ones out there.
Also, consider looking at the investigating agency's web and social media platforms. Some progressive departments will provide content that the traditional media outlets don't have the time or interest to cover.
We can't change the outcome of the tragic Martin/Zimmerman encounter, and the jury has spoken. Perhaps we can use these cases to evaluate how we all can avoid this kind of mess in the future. As an actor in the system, I've learned some things. As citizens, we simply need to consider how we can avoid conflict and live in peace. Stay safe.