A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Tag: McClains

The Injustice of Vigilante Justice

By Jessica McElroy

The shooting of Trayvon Martin has caused a national media frenzy, with pundits, celebrities, and even President Obama weighing in on the event that has sparked protests and outrage across the country. With emotions running high, it wasn’t long before understandably outraged people threatened violence.

The New Black Panther Party offered a $10,000 bounty for the “citizen’s arrest” of Mr. Zimmerman., though the reward was offered to anyone who could capture him “dead or alive.”  The Department of Justice has yet to take any action against the group.

Then, on March 23,  Elaine and David McClain of Sanford, Florida, an elderly couple who had nothing to do with the tragedy, learned firsthand about the anger directed towards shooter George Zimmerman when filmmaker Spike Lee took to Twitter to tweet to his followers what he thought was Mr. Zimmerman’s address, but was in fact the McClains’ home address.

The negligent actions of Mr. Lee and the cash reward offered by the New Black Panther Party could have resulted in violence for the McCain and Zimmerman families.  LASIS examines the civil and criminal liability that could (and should) result.   (more…)

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