Irresponsible rhetoric takes focus off crucial issues in Trayvon Martin case

He and others have repeatedly called for Zimmerman's arrest. Many have insisted Zimmerman committed "murder."

Last week I wrote that it was wrong to call Trayvon's death a murder. It's still wrong. Only a jury can make that call, and Zimmerman hasn't been charged with or convicted of anything.

There are holes in his self-defense claim. There are a lot of unanswered questions.

But the absence of facts doesn't give anyone a license to fill the vacuum with dreck.

Dreck like a photo that made the rounds online, purporting to show an older, stronger and tougher Trayvon Martin, one who could beat up Zimmerman. The photo shows a shirtless teen with his pants slung low, boxer shorts exposed and hands making an obscene gesture.

A site that published the photo, Twitchy Media, which is operated by conservative columnist and Fox contributor Michelle Malkin, later published a correction saying the photo was not of Trayvon and apologized to the Martin family.

The photo was intended to paint a grimmer picture of Trayvon, no doubt.

But like Geraldo's hoodie comment, it's really irrelevant to what happened on the night of Feb. 26.

The investigation must focus on the facts.

Cooler heads didn't prevail that night between Trayvon and Zimmerman. But there's no reason we can't steer the rhetoric back toward reason and sanity. or 407-420-5448