Domestic Violence and George Zimmerman’s Defense
The New York Times’s Charles Blow was right when he said this comparison was a “bit loaded because the cases are miles apart in the details and circumstances.” But I do think there was one crucial link between Simpson and Zimmerman: both men repeatedly were accused of violence against women well before their murder trials began.
Zimmerman’s attorneys successfully argued that those acts were inadmissible or irrelevant. But these accusations offer us other truths: that violence against girls and women is often an overlooked and unchecked indicator of future violence.
It was well-documented that Nicole Brown Simpson was a victim of domestic violence. In Zimmerman’s case, two pieces of character evidence never made it to the trial. First, a recorded statement from Witness No. 9, Zimmerman’s female cousin, in which she said that he molested her for ten years when they were both children, beginning when she just 6 years old. Second, a report filed in August 2005, when Zimmerman’s former fiancé sought a restraining order against him because of domestic violence.
Zimmerman’s pattern for violence had already been established: trolling a neighborhood for his victim, pushing her when confronted, attacking her character, and arguing that she was the aggressor when charges were filed against him. While the Assistant State Attorney Bernardo de la Rionda brought up both testimonies in bond hearing in April 2012, they were not presented as evidence during the trial. In contrast, the judge did rule that evidence of marijuana that was found in Martin’s system was admissible.
I have to wonder at the pattern: those who harm animals often also are perpetrators of Domestic Violence. Now, it seems, Domestic Violence may be a indicator of other violent crime.