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O.J. 2.0

By Kathy Y. Wilson · September 11th, 2013 · Kathy Y. Wilson
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The man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin will go to jail for something.

We just do not know yet exactly what the charge will be.

This is the O.J. Factor.

It works kind of like an equation: A man with violent tendencies who is not imprisoned for his initial outburst of deadly violence will, over time, repeatedly reveal his violent nature, however incrementally, until he does something indisputable. 

He will then be charged, tried and imprisoned and though it will not be for the offense most of us wanted him jailed for, karma will finally slam the door to his cell.

It’s like the universe is playing catch-up.

The similarities surrounding O.J. and Trayvon’s killer — whose name I still will not write or say — are sobering: acquittals for high-profile murder charges that clearly and coldly divided this country, followed by a series of legal run-ins that are nuisances on their collective surface.

I remember O.J.’s trial and acquittal and how legions of blacks believed he’d “gotten off” on behalf of family members who’d been racially profiled or wrongly jailed or because America finally owed a black man the same skewed justice they’d felt white people received everyday.

I remember the trial and acquittal of Trayvon’s shooter and how legions of whites wanted blacks to “get off” the racial issue and see how the jurors were just following the law and how Trayvon must have given his shooter a reason to pull and fire his weapon when Trayvon overpowered him.

It’s funny and sad how both sides wrongly play The Race Card. 

If race is a game how come there aren’t any winners?

You might recall O.J. was acquitted in 1995 for the double murder of his wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. By 2008 O.J. wouldn’t vacate our national consciousness as the black man who maybe got away with two murders and who became a weird form of reparations for every innocent black man who still sits in prison unable to get top-notch legal representation and a new trial.

That was also the year, however, that O.J. was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with 12 criminal counts, including armed robbery and kidnapping for trying to steal back sports memorabilia that he said had been stolen from him years earlier.

He was sentenced to nine to 33 years on those charges and though many of us had reconciled our feelings about him and the punchline he’d become, some of us still breathed a heavy sigh of relief he’d been thrown in jail for something.

The latest is that O.J.

is now trying to wriggle free, claiming his attorney in that 2008 case — an old friend — was also culpable in O.J.’s involvement in the hotel room stick-up and as his attorney, he’d provided shoddy representation. 

O.J. believes he is entitled to a new trial.

He won’t go away.

Neither to jail nor to hell.

Neither will the man who put a bullet in Trayvon.

Erase race.

This man needs help, a job, a hobby, a respite, some therapy, perhaps some mood-altering drugs and he needs a court to remove his rights to bear arms.

The psychological and emotional toll that shooting an unarmed teenager and then being nationally vilified and made the topic of so many columns, talk radio programs and CNN stories must have taken on this man’s psyche must be overwhelming. 

Crushing.

But being set and left free cannot be so freeing, after all.

Everywhere he goes, there he is.

He also is not being helped any by his brother, Robert, aka The Mad Tweeter, who cannot stop sending out mindless messages in 140 characters to the world about his brother’s character and innocence.

He has been turning up in the news like a blip on a Doppler radar — the brewing storm that needs watching and tracking.

He has been involved in minor traffic violations during which he informed officers his gun was in his glove compartment and domestic disputes with his now estranged wife, Shellie, who’d lied about the couple’s finances during pre-trial bond hearings during the Trayvon case. (Shellie told the court the couple was broke when, in fact, they were sitting on six figures in cash legal donations.)

Late Monday afternoon Shellie called Lake Mary, Fla., police and told the 911 operator that her estranged husband had a gun and was threatening her and her father since they’d returned to the couple’s home (owned by Shellie’s dad) to retrieve some of her belongings.

For the second pivotal time in his life, Trayvon’s shooter had a gun — his attorney told CNN’s Anderson Cooper this even though police said he didn’t — and showed up with it in a place he shouldn’t have been.

The couple sent text messages back and forth about Shellie returning briefly to the home and for some reason Trayvon’s shooter decided to show up, too.

During an argument, he broke her iPad and punched her father in the nose.

“He’s in his car and he continually has his hand on his gun and he’s saying, ‘Step closer,’ ” Shellie told the dispatcher. “He’s just threatening all of us with his firearm.”

She later refused to press charges on the advice of her attorney. I’m thinking this is because if she does, something illegal or untoward she did to defend her then-husband or perhaps some evidence she hid during the Trayvon trial might come out.

Trayvon’s shooter might have something on Shellie, which gives him carte blanche in terrorizing her as they move toward divorce.

There’s an idiom perfect for this occasion: When chickens come home to roost.

The ills and -isms done in the past are now percolating up, creating unresolved problems.

It was just two months ago that Trayvon’s shooter was acquitted.

We’re still sidestepping conversations about race and justice and not speaking to co-workers because of the jury’s decision. Trayvon’s parents aren’t even fully settled into their post-mortem lives.

Trayvon’s shooter will be back.



CONTACT KATHY Y. WILSON: letters@citybeat.com



 
 
 
 

 

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