by Alton H. Maddox, Jr.
In American jurisprudence, every legal action must be authorized by an applicable constitution, statute or charter. It was revealed this week that the Sanford Police Department seized George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin. Trayvon was fatally shot on February 26, 2012 in Sanford, FL. Thus, this seizure had to have been done in compliance with the Fourth Amendment.
Neither George Zimmerman nor Robert Zimmerman, has father, has ever claimed a false arrest. Similarly, the attorney for George Zimmerman has never charged the Sanford Police Department with conducting a false arrest. Thus, Zimmerman is admitting to a lawful arrest. His claim of self-defense does not vitiate the arrest. Self-defense is reserved for trial.
Once a defendant has been arrested, the legal process commences. An arrest occurs when a suspect has been restrained of his liberty. Geroge Zimmerman was escorted from the crime scene to the police precinct in handcuffs. This is an arrest. Zimmerman was in police custody.
Once a criminal suspect has been arrested, he or she must be taken before a judicial magistrate who may detain the suspect, fix bail or release the suspect after according him or her due process of law. There is no evidence that George Zimmerman appeared before a judicial magistrate. Why?
How did George Zimmerman secure his release from police custody? This is the $64,000 question. With the sua sponte appointment of a special prosecutor, there is at least a suggestion of misconduct. No one has explained how George Zimmerman secured his release and went immediately into hiding with protection from Florida.
At this stage, George Zimmerman has obviously escaped from police custody. The police can re-arrest George Zimmerman, however. Similarly, any citizen or civilian group can arrest George Zimmerman. This includes the New Black Panther Party. The Black community needs a military unit to comply with the Second Amendment.
In the meantime, the governor of Florida must explain how George Zimmerman escaped from police custody and whether he had any assistance. If Zimmerman did have assistance, the governor should identify an accomplice and take necessary steps to bring criminal charges against him or her.
The killing of a person by another person could give rise to a capital offense. This is possibly a non-bailable offense. The unlawful release of a criminal suspect is a serious offense. It is even more serious if the criminal suspect escapes police custody. This would warrant a nationwide manhunt led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. There is still a manhunt for Assata Shakur.
The Black community should be putting serious question not only to the state of Florida but also to the U.S. Department of Justice. So far, Blacks have refused to exercise the right to self-help or to demand answers from public officials. This murder investigation is in dire need of someone with legal knowledge and courage. Allegedly, an attorney for the Martin family is seeking my advice. If asked to seize George Zimmerman, I will take bloodhounds to Florida forthwith.
Immediately after the state-sponsored, fatal beating of Michael Stewart by 11 transit cops in New York City in 1983, attorneys Louis Clayton Jones and Michael Warren asked me to joint the legal team for the family of Michael Stewart because of my knowledge of police brutality cases.
After we had personally witnessed Mayor Ed Koch and NYC Medical Examiner Eliot Gross engaged in a cover-up of the fatal beating, we immediately demanded a special prosecutor. Evidence tampering is a ground for a special prosecutor but Governor Mario Cuomo argued that a special prosecutor could only be employed in a case of official misconduct. This was in 1983.
Michael Griffith was murdered in Howard Beach by a white mob in 1986. While New York argued that there was no official misconduct in the killing, I was able to show that Queens District Attorney John Santucci had close ties to organized crime including organized crime members like John Gotti who resided in Howard Beach.
I also conducted my own investigation into the kidnapping and rape of Tawana Brawley in Dutchess County. The investigation revealed that Steven Pagones was involved in the kidnapping and rape of Tawana Brawley and that Harry Crist, Jr. an accomplice and a police officer, was murdered after he demonstrated a willingness to become shaky.
The petit jury in Dutchess County Supreme Court found that Pagones was involved in the kidnapping and rape of Tawana Brawley. No one ever sued Brawley for defamation and no quasi-criminal charges were brought against her. Nonetheless, New York disbarred Maddox for telling the truth. The pathologist also found that Crist had been murdered. There is no statute of limitations for murder.
When the governor of Florida replaced the state attorney’s office with a special prosecutor, I knew that the racially-motivated killing of Trayvon Martin was riddled with official and police misconduct. Like in Brawley, the Florida governor refused to reveal the police misconduct in the Sanford, FL Police Department and the state attorney’s office. This is a serious breach of trust and it should be revealed immediately and fully.
Because the governor has failed and refused to make open disclosures in the death of Trayvon Martin and because the newly-appointed special prosecutor has failed and refused to immediately re-arrest George Zimmerman, coupled with the failure of Florida to have already convened a grand jury, the special prosecutor should also be given the boot. This is a repeat of Robert Abrams.
A state attorney’s office or a district attorney is only removed from an investigation when it is clear that the investigator has committed a serious breach of trust. It is not easy to remove a district attorney from an investigation. There is undisclosed misconduct in Sanford, however. Blacks must get focused. The big fish now is the governor of Florida for the suspected cover-up of the murder. Compare Michael Stewart.
In addition to putting George Zimmerman on the hot seat, articles of impeachment should be in the preliminary stage for Florida’s governor. If the people of Florida will not remove the governor upon good cause, it may be necessary for the Black consumers and other people of goodwill to take matter into their own hands.
Hate crime legislation in the United States is rooted the racially-motivated murder in Howard Beach. I took lumps for demanding a special prosecutor. In 1986, it was clear to me that the traditional district attorney’s office could not be trusted. This stance of non-cooperation in 1986 led to the appointment of the first special prosecutor in a racially-motivated case in the United States and also the first hate crime legislation.
Noel Leader of “Community Cop” and 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care told me last night that he would be returning to “Here and Now” this Sunday to discuss police brutality and criminality; particularly, in the cases of Ramarley Graham and Trayvon Martin. He thanked me for my efforts.
I would suggest that everyone purchase a copy of this week’s “Community Cop” from Sis. Leola W. Maddox this Wednesday evening at Elks Plaza in Brooklyn. The tape raises some serious legal questions. This purchase on March 28 will also help “2012 Freedom Retreat for Boys and Girls”. The distribution of this tape has also been approved by “Community Cop”.
I am the only lawyer in this nation who has secured a special prosecutor in two racially-motivated cases. When the governor of Florida, sua sponte, said that he was removing the state’s attorneys office from the Martin investigation and naming a special prosecutor, I knew that police misconduct was running amuck.
While the governor has named a special prosecutor, he has failed to impanel a special grand jury. This is like hiring a mechanic but refusing to give the mechanic the tools of the trade. In the criminal process, this has serious negative consequences on the criminal prosecution.
Last night, a caller raised police leaks in the Martin investigation. I only had an opportunity to answer one of the questions. A police leak can only happen with immunity when the state has failed or refused to impanel a grand jury. Because a grand jury investigation is secret, a grand jury is impaneled forthwith to make any leak a felony.
Any police leak before the formulation of a grand jury is not a criminal leak. This is the reason why Florida is waiting until April 10 before it impanels a grand jury to conduct the investigation. It also allows for the trail to grow cold. In the meantime, lawyers are supposed to remain silent. No one is complaining about the lack of a grand jury. Censorship is in full effect. This harms the Black community.
I will return to “Community Cop” next Tuesday and Utrice Leid of Florida will be the keynote speaker at UAM’s Wednesday evening forum on April 4, the anniversary date of Dr. Martin L. King’s assassination. Utrice Leid needs no introduction in the tri-state area. Between today and next Wednesday evening, Blacks in the tri-state will be given a full and informative discussion on Graham, Martin and the future of “Like It Is”.
Too honest for the White Press and too black for much of today’s Black Press; bullet columnist Alton Maddox upsets the same people and status quo as he did as an uncompromising Defense Attorney. He is also a founding member of the Freedom Party. Please sign his Petition to save “Like It Is.” Contact him at c/o UAM P.O. BOX 35 BRONX, NY 10471