To many following the Trayvon Martin case, racial bias seems clear. But in order to charge George Zimmerman with a hate crime, prosecutors would have to prove that the shooting was racially motivated. The best piece of evidence so far is Zimmerman's 911 call, during which he may or may not have said "fucking coons."
But the recording is difficult to hear, and it may be impossible to prove that Zimmerman did utter a racial slur. Legal experts have also argued that either way, prosecutors would likely need more evidence to prove Martin's murder was a hate crime. Zimmerman would have had to pursue Martin solely because he was black, and not for any other reasons.
"They are going to have to show he was specifically targeting this individual based on his race, creed, color, et cetera," said David S. Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor in Miami. "Not that he was chasing somebody down and got in a confrontation that may or may not have been based on that."
Meanwhile, Zimmerman's friends and family have insisted that he's not racist. If that's the case, it's still unclear why Zimmerman decided Martin was "suspicious" enough to pursue. Perhaps it was simply his hoodie.
It's important to note that all of this hate crime talk is merely speculative: Zimmerman has yet to be charged in Martin's death.
[Image via AP]