Family rescued by George Zimmerman from car accident cancels press conference in fear of "blowback"

A terrible moral dilemma. Hold a presser to vouch for the man who rescued you at a moment when he could really use the public support? Or stay out of the line of fire from vigilante lunatics bent on exacting “justice for Trayvon”?

What’s a couple with two small children to do?

The Gerstles were expected to hold a press conference today at the office of Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara, but cancelled a few hours before it was supposed to take place…

“The family called because they wanted to address the media. I knew that if we did it in an organized way, it would help them get back to a normal life.. But they called today and said they were more worried about blow back from saying anything that would be favorable to George, and decided they did not want to do any media,” O’Mara said.

The lawyer said that when he spoke to the Gerstles “their voices were trembling” and that they feared saying anything positive about Zimmerman “would be toxic.”…

Zimmerman “should be [armed] given the threats against him,” O’Mara said. He added, “If I were him I would leave” the country.

The most amazing thing to me about the rescue is that he was still in Sanford days after the verdict. I figured he and his defense team had devised a plan long ago to move him to Canada or Mexico or parts unknown in the event of an acquittal. He wouldn’t be “safe” there either necessarily, but the effort to track him down and get to him would be prohibitive for all but the most insistent nuts. As it is, I wonder if he’s thinking he can ride out the storm by lying low for a year or two, until most people have forgotten, and then quietly re-emerge somewhere in the U.S. I think he’s making a mistake.

Incidentally, is there an agency (or a charity) at either the state or federal level that provides security for high-profile criminal defendants upon release or acquittal? I’m not thinking about that for Zimmerman specifically, just in general. O.J. could have used it, I’m sure; so could Casey Anthony. I think they’re both guilty as sin, and maybe O.J.’s a special case because he could afford to pay for his own protection, but it seems weird to discharge a defendant from court on grounds that they’re “free” to go when they’re facing hundreds or thousands of death threats with little professional help in thwarting them. National media holds these people out, sometimes rightly and sometimes wrongly, as monsters and then they’re left to fend for themselves against a public that despises them. Is that their idea of “rough justice”? I’m not sure prison wouldn’t have been safer for Zimmerman.