Surprise, Surprise …. Sur – prise!!!

surpriseHappy Hump Day, All!

Have you ever had an experience where you heard something that you were a bit surprised to hear … although you knew this was possible already? Wasn’t it interesting that people in this country were happy that Hugo Chavez passed away? Some in Venezuela were saddened by the turn of events while still others were relieved. Not surprising, right?!

Well, George Zimmerman’s attorneys are still asking people to donate to a fund set up to cover his living expenses as well as his legal fees to help defend him in the year old murder case involving Trayvon Martin, an African American teen pursued and shot dead while he carried only an Arizona iced tea and a bag of Skittles candy from a convenience store in Sanford, FL. Last I heard, they had collected over $300,000.00 towards the $1 million tab estimated by Zimmerman’s lawyers. What kind of people want to give money to a stranger who killed a teenager? It seems that they agree with shooting an unarmed “black” male teen even after Zimmerman was told by “911” to leave him alone. To me, it is frightening that someone would want to support a complete stranger who does something like this … to a teenager …unless … of course … they harbor the same sentiments. Can you believe it?

The Broward County Chief Public Defender, Howard Finkelstein, has asked the Federal Government to get involved in a case which he feels was mishandled by the State Attorneys Office regarding a Coconut Creek, FL officer who held a taser at a 19 year old African American male teen in hopes of getting a confession as to where he pawned the jewelry reported stolen from a neighbor’s house in the neighborhood. The officer, James Yacobellis, was reported to have ordered the teen to get into the bath tub at a home where he and his girlfriend lived with her mother and to turn the water on while the officer pointed a taser gun directly at the youth while asking him where he had pawned the jewelry. So, without any proof, the officer is telling the teen that he will tase him and, when he falls and hits his head, the blood will flow down the drain, apparently leaving no evidence of the officer’s wrong doing. Yacobellis was first placed on leave of absence with pay back in October 2011, and was suspended for two weeks without pay in February 2013. No charges were filed. Most people who reviewed the SAO’s statement, which also accused Finkelstein of using his position on Channel 7’s News segment in South Florida called “Help Me Howard” to further his (Finkelstein’s) political interest, including Ken Harms, former Miami police chief, said it was ” … incomplete at best and amateurish at worst …”. If it hadn’t been for Coconut Police Dept. Sgt. Copolla’s knocking on the door only to find the officer with Robinson, the black teen, standing in the bathtub and Yacobellis with his taser at his side with the light still flashing, more may have happened. Can you imagine this going on in a private home by a police officer … in the United States of America?! Many have compared it to treatment of purported criminals like those at the former federal holding location in Guantanamo Bay. No charges were filed against the black kid, Robinson, and he also filed a complaint against Yacobellis who was not charged by the SAO. Believe it … or not!

Have a great Hump Day … be well, and namaste!


John I. Cook, Director

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