Prosecutors have decided not to press charges against George Zimmerman, citing a lack of cooperation from his girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, who was the alleged victim of Zimmerman’s assault on November 18th of this year. Zimmerman faced charges for aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief stemming from the incident last month. However, Scheibe’s decision not to cooperate with the prosecution made the case more difficult for the state to pursue. Scheibe recanted parts of her original testimony, including her earlier assertion that Zimmerman pointed a shotgun at her face.
Zimmerman supporters will probably view this development as vindication for Zimmerman, and they no doubt will continue to see him as a victim rather than a perpetrator. However, domestic violence victims frequently choose not to press charges against their abusers, so his supporters should be cautious about assuming that this means the original report was untrue. The state dropped charges because without the support of the victim, and without other witnesses present when the incident occurred, they had little evidence with which to proceed.
Nevertheless, given Zimmerman’s past history, the risk that he will again hurt or kill somebody should be taken seriously. He has once again escaped significant consequences for assaulting someone, and this will only heighten his sense of entitlement and his perception that he is above the law. Once again, with Zimmerman suffering little consequences for his behavior, he will continue to believe he has a license to do as he pleases. George Zimmerman is a walking time bomb. His dangerous and irresponsible behavior is enabled by courts, police officers, jurors and others who continue to sanction his actions by failing to impose legal consequences when he breaks the law.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.