Posts tagged ‘hoodie’

June 15, 2012

Trayvon Martin – a Rational Conclusion

Everyone in the U.S. has heard of the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida and everyone has an opinion. The direction a person leans on this issue depends largely on their choice of news outlet and to an extent their particular race and experiences.

The usual suspects representing the conservative side of the media have portrayed Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, as a man who “stood his ground” against a black man who was suspiciously wandering through the neighborhood wearing a gang-related hooded sweatshirt and “up to no good.”

Although not all specific facts of this case are known and may never be, enough evidence has been presented to make some rational conclusions. The mainstream news coverage, though very thorough, has not been able to or hasn’t ventured to answer some important questions conclusively.

To answer the impartiality question theorize if the police, prosecutors and local press would have reacted differently if the races were reversed. Yes. No hesitation in anyone’s mind, not even among the right-wing media. The answers to the other two questions are almost if not as certain. Much depends on what Zimmerman did after the dispatcher told him “we don’t need you to do that” instructing him not to follow Martin. Zimmerman responded “ok” but what did he do?

The unelected, unofficial self-appointed neighborhood “watchman” continued to follow Martin who was on the phone with his girlfriend well after the directive for Zimmerman to stop. Had he followed that directive, Martin would not have died that night. As for feeling threatened, it was Martin who was being pursued. He was fearful for his safety and may or may not have reacted physically as he was approached by a stranger in the dark. One of the last things Martin’s girlfriend hears before the phone and her boyfriend went dead was him saying “why are you following me?” Good question for local police and the prosecuting attorney.

Zimmerman is hanging his hopes of not being hung on Florida’s “stand your ground” law. If he can prove self defense he is set free which is, by the grace of skin tone, his circumstance now. The evidence from the dispatcher’s tapes clearly shows that Zimmerman claimed to have stopped following Martin on several occasions and for several minutes prior to those chilling final words from Martin, “why are you following me?”

The prosecutor might ask “why were you still following him?” Zimmerman may have been injured but Martin felt threatened when he was stalked then approached by an obviously unfriendly stranger.

It is Martin who had the right under the law to protect himself. Again, can you imagine the police reaction if Martin had shot Zimmerman who is half-white, half-Hispanic. The “stand your ground” law would have actually applied but would have the law been applied in the same manner?

George Zimmerman wants to be a cop. He wants to wear the crisp blue uniform complete with a nightstick, mace, shiny badge and sidearm, maybe a shotgun in the patrol car. However, Zimmerman is not a police officer. He is a vigilante who lusts to feel power over other individuals to the point of committing remorseless murder.

Studying criminal law at junior college for a semester does not qualify Zimmerman or anyone to be the judge, jury and executioner of a person guilty of murder and certainly not an innocent young person who was simply trying to go home.  The crime is murder and Zimmerman be in jail facing appropriate criminal charges.