UPDATE: 6/29/2013: Zimmerman’s defense team has confirmed that the picture is of West and his “mortified” daughters. According to their spokesperson, they apologized for the “grossly insensitive” image, reports Buzzfeed.
Allegedly West had no idea that his daughters posted the picture.
A disturbing photo of Don West, defense attorney for George Zimmerman, 29, who is currently on trial for the February 26, 2012 fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, went viral after it was posted on Instagram by his teenage daughter, Molly West.
The photo, which has since been deleted, shows West taking a selfie while eating ice-cream cones with Molly, and another daughter Rachel, soon after opening the trial with an extremely inappropriate knock-knock joke.
As previously reported by NewsOne, West believes he’s a regular comedian:
“George Zimmerman, who?”
“Alright good. You’re on the jury.”
When the joke was met with silence, West urged the jury to lighten up.
“Nothing?” asked West, skeptically. “That’s funny.”
The caption beneath the offensive photo — We beat stupidity celebration cones #zimmerman #defense #dadkilledit — has caused a huge outcry across social media.
West has solidified his position as the trial’s villain with his condescending cross-examination of prosecution witness Rachel Jeantel, 19, the last person to speak to Martin before he was gunned down by West’s client. He has consistently — and passive aggressively — held Jeantel up for ridicule and scorn, while working to discredit her testimony.
While that is technically his job, his cold intimidation of the grieving teen, juxtaposed with his obvious disregard for an unarmed Black boy murdered in cold blood, makes this “selfie” a telling glimpse into West’s private life and the character of his children.
And the irony is sharp.
Though the picture is in poor taste, according to NewsOne’s resident legal analyst, Eric Guster, he will face no professional consequences for what was, essentially, a moment with his children:
“It is not contempt because the daughter is the person who posted the photo,” said Guster. “If Attorney West posted the picture, it may be considered contempt due to the lack of respect he has shown the court and the proceedings. Courts have very strict rules for decorum in dealing with cases. If a lawyer says or writes something that the judge feels is improper, that judge may hold a contempt hearing. If found guilty of contempt, the lawyer can be required to serve days in jail, pay a fine, or both.”
This means that West is free to continue enjoying ice-cream with his children, while trying to make it appear as if Tracey Martin and Sybrina Fulton’s child deserved to be brutally killed in the wet grass on a rainy night in Sanford, Florida.