george zimmerman acquitted; whistleblower fired

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot teenager Trayvon Martin, has been cleared of all charges.

Given the ambiguity of the case, I think the jury delivered the proper verdict. Having said that, that doesn’t mean that Zimmerman is entirely innocent. He confronted Martin, possibly provocatively. He had a track record of calling police regarding any remotely suspicious person. It’s likely he was biased against anyone who dressed or walked a certain way. Perhaps he provoked a confrontation to justify his pre-existing bias. I’m not sure, and I suspect we’ll never know.

In related news, and possibly far more important and alarming, there’s evidence suggesting that the state covered up evidence that would have been beneficial to Zimmerman.

Ben Kruidbos [former IT Director for the Office of the State Attorney in Jacksonville, Fla], who testified for the defense before the trial began and identified himself as a “whistleblower,” alleged that his former employer concealed or was slow to deliver discovery information obtained from Trayvon Martin’s cell phone – including pictures of a hand holding a gun and a gun on a bed. [emphasis added]

The IT Director was fired in a scathing letter from his superiors. Quoting the letter, the article states (emphasis added below):

“Your egregious lack of regard for the sensitive nature of the information handled by this office is completely abhorrent. You have proven to be completely untrustworthy. Because of your deliberate, willful and unscrupulous actions, you can never again be trusted to step foot in this office,” the letter states.

The letter, signed by the state attorney office’s managing director, Cheryl R. Peek, alleges that Kruidbos’ intent “was not pursuant to any pure motive or genuine concern.”

It’s possible that Ben Kruidbos, the fired director of IT, deserves to be dismissed, but I’m skeptical. Note the managing director’s statement that Kruidbos’s intent was not pure, and that there’s no genuine concern. Really? Then what was his motive? To get fired? Why would anyone take such an apparently altruistic risk, involving no monetary gain, knowing that there might be repercussions, if not because they’re concerned? It doesn’t add up.

If this is a (another) case of a whistleblower being severely punished by the state, then, let me just say, I won’t find myself shocked. It’s amazing that anyone is a whistleblower given the harsh treatment they receive.

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