As social media becomes a focused issue in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case, attorneys on both sides feel that both Zimmerman and Trayvon’s social media activity may be a topic of discussion come trial time.
According to the Miami Herald, Zimmerman’s defense attorney, Mark O’Mara says he will not comment on a MySpace page that portrays his client in a “less-than-favorable” light, because the racially charged social-media postings could come up at his murder trial.
But he hinted that if Zimmerman’s postings will be scrutinized in court, Trayvon Martin’s would be too.
Zimmerman had a MySpace account in 2005 in which he wrote insulting remarks about Mexicans. He referred to an ex-girlfriend as a “hoe,” talked about beating a felony rap and complained that every Mexican he ran into pulled a knife on him. One line even suggested that his friends went to jail rather than snitch on him.
O’Mara said Zimmerman’s account had been hacked and abandoned — but acknowledged that the posts cited by The Herald were written by his client.
A crucial element in Zimmerman’s criminal case is whether he racially profiled Trayvon when he followed him on Feb. 26, got into a fight with him and then shot him. Zimmerman denies profiling Trayvon and claims he shot him to save his own life.
Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump told The Herald that the MySpace posting was disturbing because it demonstrates Zimmerman’s “pattern of profiling:"
"It’s one thing to think something like that, but to type it? You really gotta be racist. You really have to have ill will and malice."
In a statement posted on his website Wednesday, O’Mara published one of Crump’s Miami Herald quotes, and noted:
"We believe that inviting public scrutiny of the contents of this social media account invites scrutiny of the social media accounts of all parties involved. While these social media accounts may be public, we will not comment on them publicly, as they may be part of the evidence produced at trial."
O’Mara appeared to suggest that Trayvon’s social media accounts would be brought up at trial as well.
Crump went on to say:
"I always assume they are going to attack the victim. What part of what I said wasn’t true? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see the behavior pattern. Zimmerman is on trial for murder: His credibility is at issue, his mentality is at issue."
No matter what Trayvon posted on his Twitter account or Facebook page, it meant nothing on the night of Feb 26.