While a huge swath of the media and political elite calls for the arrest of George Zimmerman without waiting for all the facts to come out, there is other possible criminal activity taking place in Sanford, FL, that deserves scrutiny. As J. Christian Adams points out at PJMedia.com, the New Black Panthers’ “dead or alive” cash bounty offer for Zimmerman probably crosses several criminal lines:
Let’s start with solicitation to kidnap. In announcing a reward for the seizure of Zimmerman, the New Black Panthers may have violated Florida Code 787.01. It makes it a felony to “by threat, confining or abducting, or imprisoning another person against his . . . will without lawful authority with intent to . . . terrorize.”
Merely soliciting someone else to do this is also a felony in Florida under Florida Code 777.04
It doesn’t end there. As Adams points out, Florida law makes it a felony to unlawfully seize somebody as a mob, or “at the behest of a mob.” Again, solicitation to commit this crime is also a crime. It’s a felony, too, to interfere with the administration of government with use of force – and yes, again, solicitation is a crime.
However things turn out in Sanford, the situation with Martin and Zimmerman was a tragedy. What turns that tragedy into even more of an outrage than it otherwise would be is the cynical and exploitative reaction to it by those who would make political hay out of it – and, in the case of the New Black Panthers, do so in possibly criminal fashion.