Criminal Justice

'We beat stupidity' photo of Zimmerman defense lawyer spurs prosecution motion for inquiry

Prosecutors in the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman are asking the judge for a formal inquiry into a photo of the defense lawyer eating ice cream with his daughters.

The photo was posted on Instagram by the daughter of defense lawyer Don West, report the Orlando Sentinel and the Associated Press. The caption read, “We beat stupidity celebration cones #zimmerman #defense #dadkilledit.”

Prosecutors say the photo was posted after West’s tough cross-examination of prosecution witness Rachel Jeantel, who was speaking on the phone with shooting victim Trayvon Martin before he was killed. Witnesses should be treated with respect, the prosecution motion said, and they should not be subject to inappropriate jokes.

West responded in a court filing that his daughter posted the photo without checking with him, and it was taken a day before Jeantel’s testimony. He also released a statement that read, “As a parent we’re not always proud of everything [our children] do. We love them anyway and move on.”

The New York Times has a story on trial testimony this week. The police officer who interviewed Zimmerman after the slaying testified on Monday that Zimmerman appeared to be telling the truth when he said he shot Martin in self-defense. Prosecutors did not object. On Tuesday, prosecutors persuaded the judge to issue a limiting instruction telling jurors to ignore the statement.

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