In Florida, George Zimmerman’s trial has divided the country, and the rallies in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s killing often invoked the name (if not presence) of Al Sharpton, a longtime civil rights leader.
Both before his arrest and as Zimmerman’s trial wears on in Sanford, both Al Sharpton and conservative leader Col. Allen West have made observations and statements about proceedings — including one by the former last week about the deadly incident between Zimmerman and Martin.
Al Sharpton was in the news last week after he observed that Zimmerman (in fitter form the night of the killing) was a trained MMA fighter, and asked why the defendant would require a gun to come after the smaller, younger male.
Col. Allen West broke with conservative ranks before the Zimmerman trial to opine that the case was not your standard “self defense” gun rights conflict, saying last year:
“… if all that has been reported is accurate, the Sanford Police Chief should be relieved of his duties due to what appears to be a mishandling of this shooting in its early stages. The US Navy SEALS identified Osama Bin Laden within hours, while this young man laid on a morgue slab for three days. The shooter, Mr Zimmerman, should have been held in custody and certainly should not be walking free, still having a concealed weapons carry permit.”
Allen West added:
“From my reading, it seems this young man was pursued and there was no probable cause to engage him, certainly not pursue and shoot him….against the direction of the 911 responder. Let’s all be appalled at this instance not because of race, but because a young American man has lost his life, seemingly, for no reason. I have signed a letter supporting a DOJ investigation. I am not heading to Sanford to shout and scream, because we need the responsible entities and agencies to handle this situation from this point without media bias or undue political influences. This is an outrage.”
Last week, Al Sharpton spoke again about the killing of Trayvon Martin, saying after the defense argued that Martin had “attacked” George Zimmerman:
If he was raining blows, MMA-style, you think there would be some physical evidence of that on his fists. Second, it was testified that Zimmerman had MMA training. If Zimmerman had MMA training and there was an MMA attack going on, why didn’t he use his MMA training to defend himself?
Al Sharpton’s coverage of the Zimmerman trial has been a frequent topic on his MSNBC show in recent months. Are you surprised that Sharpton and West seem to agree on the basics of the Trayvon Martin case?