Jury selection moved into the final phase in the murder trial of George Zimmerman as his lawyer began questioning the 40 finalists in the pool of potential jurors this morning.
Zimmerman’s trial is proceeding just as his father has kicked up controversy by releasing a digital book, in which the elder Zimmerman accuses the African-American community of fostering racism in the United States.
In the book, entitled “Florida v. Zimmerman: Uncovering the Malicious Prosecution of My Son, George,” the former Virginia magistrate Robert Zimmerman refers to the Congressional Black Caucus as a “self-serving group of racists” and says that “all members of Congress should be ashamed of” the CBC, along with “their constituents.”
Zimmerman claims that the NAACP “promotes racism and hatred for their own….interests” and lacking “prejudice and racial divide, [the organization] would cease to exist.” NAACP president Ben Jealous, Zimmerman says, he is what he“would think of a racist.”
In the left-leaning blog ThinkProgress, Judd Legum notes that “(w)hile stopping short of explicitly calling President Obama a racist, Zimmerman Sr. does say that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have ‘shamelessly’ sought to exploit his son’s case ‘to obtain great advantage in the African-American community.’
“Zimmerman Sr. says that because of Holder’s decision to investigate whether Trayvon Martin’s death violated federal civil rights laws, the FBI did not have ‘adequate resources to investigate clearly identified potential terrorist [sic] in the Boston area.’ Now, ‘tragically, we have suffered the consequences of Mr. Holder’s politically motivated decisions,'” Legum writes.
According to the elder Zimmerman, before the shooting he believed that “generally racism was a thing of the past.” But after the national outcry against his son, he says he realized that racism is “flourishing at the insistence of some in the African- American community.”
In the book, Zimmerman also tries to paint a picture of his son’s multicultural upbringing, pointing out that he had a black prom date. In the chapter, “Who Are the True Racists?” he says the attorneys representing the Martin family are race-baiting schemers.
At the trial this morning, defense attorney Mark O’Mara re-introduced himself to the group and began by asking whether they could be fair.
“He’s here before you, charged with a crime. The state has decided to prosecute him. How does that weigh in on whether or not he’s guilty?” O’Mara asked.
“I would agree he’s presumed innocent until found guilty based on the evidence,” one woman said.
Seminole Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson is expected to rule this afternoon on whether state audio experts can testify about their conclusions in analyzing 911 calls that are evidence in the case. The experts disagree on whether the calls reveal Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin screaming for help.