17 year old Florida resident, Trayvon Martin walked to his local 7-11 to pick up some snacks for the NBA all star game, but upon the return to his neighborhood he was gunned down by a self-appointed neighborhood watchmen, George Zimmerman. Zimmerman made a point to report the boy to authorities making remarks that he saw a “suspicious” person in the neighborhood, that looked like he was on drugs, and looked black. He also revealed to the dispatcher that he was following the young man.
The police specifically told him not to get involved, but George Zimmerman decided to take on the roll of policeman anyway. He confronted Trayvon and ultimately ended up shooting him with a claim of self-defense. Although Trayvon was unarmed, wasn’t doing anything other than walking back to his home, and there have been a few witnesses that have spoken out about Trayvon’s cries for help police simply trust Zimmerman’s story that the killing of Trayvon was done out of self defense.
While the story of Trayvon Martin angers many, it has deeply saddened me. I couldn’t imagine if my younger brother were simply going to our local 7-11 and was gun down for no reason at all. Whether this was an “accident” or not is irrelevant, the man has not even been arrested or given a date to stand trial, the police simply took his word for it.
Now Zimmerman may be hiding behind Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, which allows people to use deadly force if they feel that they have been threatened; although it has never been revealed what Trayvon did to come off as threatening other than walking back to his own house. Trayvon’s family had to go as far as setting up a petition on Change.org and requesting that FBI become involved.
Many people try to beat around the bush and say “Why does it have to be a race issue?” but you know what, if it isn’t race than why are the police showing such reluctance. Here is what we do know so far:
- Trayvon was unarmed carrying skittles and a drink (Oh yeah really threatening)
- He was screaming for help and then was shot
- His girlfriend said that he called her saying that a strange man was following him (And he was the one that was afraid because he was doing everything possible to get away from him)
- The police told Zimmerman not to do anything but he instead chose to follow him
- George Zimmerman is a 28 year old man with at least 180lbs over Trayvon
The Stand Your Ground Law, is a ridiculous law, but unfortunately it is a reality. This is not even the first time this crutch has been used either to defend a murderer either. Although George claims he had reason to fear for his life, did he really? After all he is the one who took it upon himself to chase the suspicious black boy walking around in “his” neighborhood. As of now a new prosecutor has been appointed to investigate the case, hopefully this results in more action than was taken from the local police.