Zimmerman's supposed guilt or innocence is the very reason there is outrage concerning the police and prosecution. It is especially prevalent in the viral videos and blog chatter in the first few days of the national outrage - that the police were wrong not to arrest Zimmerman. By Stand Your Ground laws, they claimed to not have had sufficient cause to charge him.
Without that supposition of guilt, one that was everywhere in the early days of the outcry and the reason it became so, the officials in charge of the investigation would not be facing accusations of 'official indifference.'
Sabre, with all respect, I think you are missing the point.
The accusations of official indifference, at least those from more responsible commentators, are not based on conclusions about Zimmerman's legal guilt for the killing he admitted having committed. Indeed, much of the criticism in the media has been over Florida's "stand your ground" law which extends the justification defense to murder and manslaughter to those who kill despite the availability of less drastic alternatives. Such commentary necessarily recognizes that Zimmerman might
well be found not guilty
. The widespread reproach drawn by the police does not spring from Zimmerman absence from death row. Rather, censure has been leveled at them because their conclusion that they lacked probable cause to arrest Zimmerman -- a standard well below that required for conviction -- was so faulty as to call into very serious question whether it was the product of indifference or even out and out bias.
The undisputed facts known at the time of the incident, as I understand them, were these: (1) Martin was dead from a gunshot wound; (2) Zimmerman admitted shooting martin; (3) Zimmerman, a self-appointed Neighborhood Watch captain, stalked Martin before the shooting; (4) Zimmerman was instructed by the 911 dispatcher to stop following Martin; (5) Zimmerman was armed (perhaps in violation of Neighborhood Watch rules), and Martin was not; (6) Martin attempted to avoid Zimmerman, and perhaps even ran, from him; and (7) the only evidence Zimmerman acted in self defense was his own self-serving account.
Under these circumstances, the failure of the police to find they had sufficient cause to take Zimmerman into custody and hold him for arraignment on homicide charges can only shock the conscience.
Moreover, the quantum of evidence in favor of probable cause has only grown since the incident, as Martin's girlfriend has since reported to the police that, in a cell phone conversation immediately before the shooting, Martin told her he was being followed, and that she heard part of the ensuing encounter. Though the girlfriend's credibility may be open to question, that is an issue to be decided by a jury, not by the police. There is also now an electronically improved copy of the recording of Zimmerman's 911 call, from which it appears he may have uttered the words, "fucking coon." Though admission of the recording into evidence at trial would require an audibility hearing and, if the recording were admitted, Zimmerman's speech might still be subject to differing interpretations, these again are not matters for final police determination. Even assuming for argument's sake the initial decision not to arrest might somehow have been justified, the accretion of evidence since the killing has rendered adherence to that decision completely indefensible.
The media have not called for Zimmerman's lynching, only for the police to do their job and turn Zimmerman over to the courts. That the police have not done so provides at least probable cause to believe they are either indifferent to the deaths of hoodied, black, male teenagers or willing to accord special treatment to private posses. Neither alternative is appealing.