Attorney questions Crump's tactics

Trayvon Martin shot, killed by neighborhood watch leader

Published On: Mar 20 2012 07:38:27 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 21 2012 07:26:43 AM EDT
ORLANDO, Fla. -

Like many things about the Trayvon Martin story, there are matters that apparently up to interpretation.

During a news conference Tuesday, the family attorney, Benjamin Crump, made claims that other defense attorneys may not agree with.

"Had they [Sanford police] just arrested George Zimmerman, it would have silenced a lot of their [the family's] concerns and questions," said Crump. "Self-defense is a legal argument that you make in a courtroom, not an argument that you make on the side of the road to police and get to go home and go to bed."

However, defense attorney Mark O'Mara disagrees.

"We empower our law enforcement officers to make judgment calls like that day in and day out," said O'Mara.

In fact, the Florida statute does allow police to decide at the scene whether to make an arrest.

In this case, police said they did not have enough probable cause to make an arrest, and still don't.

O'Mara also wonders about the Martin family's tactics. Because they don't trust Sanford police, they plan to give their evidence -- including their son's girlfriend's audio-recorded testimony -- to the Justice Department instead of the state attorney who is handling the case.

"In my opinion, it's a mistake," said O'Mara. "I'm not sure exactly why they would hesitate to give any information to the state attorney who's investigating it. While they could argue that they don't trust him, nonetheless, give him the information. Let him make that part of his presentation to the grand jury."

While the grand jury proceedings will be private, according to the Grand Jury Handbook, the family attorney has the ability to present evidence, if the grand jury wants to hear their side of the story.

When asked if the state attorney's office plans to get the girlfriend's testimony as evidence.  A grand jury has subpoena power and can interview anyone involved in the case, but their proceedings remain secret.

The Seminole County Grand Jury will take up the case April 10.