A full-blown pissing match has broken out between Florida State Attorney Norman Wolfinger (the prosecutor who initially decided that the Trayvon Martin shooting was self defense) and the Martin family’s media mad attorney Benjamin Crump (above). In an April 2 letter to the Justice Department, Crump alleges that the lead homicide investigator on the night Martin was killed had doubts about shooter George Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense . . .
According to Crump, State Attorney Wolfinger and Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee overruled the investigator and decided not to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter. The letter asks for a Justice Department investigation into the State Attorney’s decision not to charge and prosecute.
State Attorney Wolfinger’s not sitting still for any of it . . .
Like Chief Lee, Wolfinger has since removed himself from the case in the midst of the category four sturm und drang hurricane that’s hit Florida and the national media over the handling of the case. But that didn’t prevent him from responding, as reported by clickorlando.com, to Crump’s letter with an almost equal and opposite reaction.
Wolfinger said he was “outraged by the outright lies contained in the letter…” and he, “encourages the Justice Department to investigate and document that no such meeting or communication occurred.”
“I have been encouraging those spreading the irresponsible rhetoric to stop and allow State Attorney Angela Corey to complete her work,” Wolfinger said. “Another falsehood distributed to the media does nothing to forward that process.”
In the letter, Crump also says that Serino filed an affidavit stating that he did not find Zimmerman’s statements credible in light of the circumstances and facts surrounding the shooting.
Yet another Martin family attorney, Natalie Jackson, says her clients just want to be kept in the loop. As thegrio.com reports, Jackson says they
“have a right to ask questions, since nobody is giving them answers, and that’s what they’re doing.”Jackson said the family is “asking the same questions that the American people are asking.” She added, in a pointed rebuke of Wolfinger, who, an anonymous source told theGrio, personally met with the chief on the night of the shooting, February 26th, after which the decision to release Zimmerman was made: “the family is getting the same information the public is getting, through the media, and that’s not how it’s supposed to be. They should be getting it from the source.”
Jackson said Wolfinger’s office failed to keep the family informed when he had the case, and added, “the only source who can get answers for this family at this point, is the Justice Department.”
Sounds like what we have here is a failure to communicate. And few branches of the federal government have done better at open and honest communication recently than Eric Holder’s Justice Department. What could possibly go wrong?