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              People participate in a rally for Trayvon Martin, the teen shot by George Michael Zimmerman while on Neighborhood Watch patrol, in Sanford, Fla., Thursday, March 22, 2012. Zimmerman  People participate in a rally for Trayvon Martin, the teen shot by George Michael Zimmerman while on Neighborhood Watch patrol, in Sanford, Fla., Thursday, March 22, 2012. Zimmerman's claim of shooting the teen in self defense has been questioned by community leaders. (AP Photo/Roberto Gonzalez)   

Is momentum in Trayvon Martin case swinging toward George Zimmerman?

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

SANFORD, Fla. – Momentum in the political controversy surrounding the killing of unarmed 17-year-old black teenager Trayvon Martin may be shifting toward his shooter, neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman.

Many details of the case have not yet been made public, but that hasn’t stopped liberal public figures like the Rev. Al Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Joe “The Eagle” Madison, film director Spike Lee and others from speculating about the matter.

Rachel Delinski, the editor of The Sanford Herald, told The Daily Caller that it would be unwise to rush to judgment until all the facts are in.

“It is important to keep in mind that all the facts of the Trayvon Martin case have not been released,” Delinski told TheDC. “Other than the claim of self-defense, we have yet to hear George Zimmerman’s full account of the events that took place the evening of Feb. 26.”

President Barack Obama made headlines last week for commenting on the case even as details continued to emerge.

“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said on Friday morning at the Rose Garden, after the White House had originally declined to weigh in on the issue with anything more than a statement of condolence for Martin’s family.

The Department of Justice has also launched an investigation into the case through its Civil Rights Division, to determine whether there were racial motivations behind the incident, behind the police department’s decision to not arrest Zimmerman, or both.

J. Christian Adams, a former DOJ Civil Rights Division attorney and author of “Injustice,” a book that examines the New Black Panther Party’s influence on the Obama DOJ, told TheDC that these harsh reactions from Sharpton, the New Black Panthers and others without all the facts may prove damaging for them in the long run.

“It demonstrates the depths of their racial depravity, from the New Black Panther Party to Sharpton,” Adams said. “They were seeking to incite a mob using race. It’s Duke Lacrosse, squared.”

In another sign that momentum may be shifting, a planned New Black Panther Party rally fell through on Saturday in Sanford. Party leader Malik Zulu Shabazz was expected to come to Sanford to protest outside the local police department headquarters, but he failed to show up. A small local contingency from his organization met instead on the other side of town.

Sanford has quieted down over the weekend, too, after experiencing several days of racial tension.

And late Friday, a local Fox affiliate reported that a previously little-known witness in the case claims to have seen the physical altercation between Martin and Zimmerman.

“The guy on the bottom who had a red sweater on was yelling to me: ‘Help! Help!’ … And I told him to stop, and I was calling 911,” the new eyewitness said.

Zimmerman, who apparently suffered a bloody nose and had grass stains on the back of his clothes, was wearing a red sweater. Martin wore a hoodie.

The new eyewitness is choosing to remain anonymous for now due to the political and racial tensions surrounding the tragedy.

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