In summer 2013, civil rights attorney and legal analyst Lisa Bloom covered the trial of George Zimmerman—who was accused of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.—for NBC. Halfway through the proceedings, Bloom had an “aha” moment that planted the seed for her forthcoming book, Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It (Counterpoint, Feb. 26).
“I started to notice there was a great deal of very powerful evidence in the case that the prosecutors weren’t arguing,” Bloom says. “One of the most important pieces of evidence came from Zimmerman’s videotaped reenactment for the police, where he states that Trayvon saw his gun, holstered behind his right hip, and reached for it during their scuffle, which is why Zimmerman shot him.” But Bloom, who reviewed the evidence and watched each day’s proceedings during the trial, realized that it wasn’t possible for Martin to have seen the gun—because it was holstered behind Zimmerman, who was lying down and also wearing a shirt and a jacket. “I watched this over and over again and thought, how did they miss this? And what else are they missing?” Bloom says.
It turns out they were missing plenty—so much so that when Bloom flew home after Zimmerman’s acquittal, she couldn’t stop thinking about it. “I really couldn’t let it go,” she says. “A lot of people feel this case was an injustice, but they’re told that the jury system played out and the man was acquitted. But I’m here to say it was an injustice, and from a lawyer’s view inside the courtroom, I can show you what happened—how, by the last week of the trial, the evidence went in one direction, and the prosecution in another.”( Read more...Collapse )
Suspicion Nation is set to be published on the second anniversary of Martin’s death, and it will be the first book about the Zimmerman trial. “The Trayvon Martin case is iconic, one that people will be studying 30 years from now,” Bloom says. “And as I discuss in the book, [the verdict] was almost preordained. I wanted there to be something on record that explains what happened and why it went wrong. This was different from a lot of cases I’ve covered—much bigger than just these two guys on that dark night in Sanford, Fla. It really had struck a nerve.”