I honestly don’t know how to start this post. Do I rehash what happened? Everybody knows at this point the George Zimmerman was acquitted for the killing of Trayvon Martin. The jury couldn’t prove that the crime fit second-degree murder criteria. I admit I’m no legal expert, and I am not knowledgeable about the ins and outs of a second-degree murder charge in the state of Florida. I am also not very knowledgeable about Florida’s “Stand your Ground” law. However, I am baffled by how Zimmerman is allowed to walk away a free man.
Yes, much of the evidence in the case is cloudy. It is not clear how the altercation between Martin and Zimmerman started. It is also unclear who was attacking who. I also can’t speak to the character qualities of Martin or Zimmerman. Despite this cloudiness, there are some things about the case that are clear. Zimmerman was armed. Martin was not. Zimmerman approached Martin after following him for a period of time. Zimmerman shot Martin multiple times resulting in his death. Martin was also a minor.
I don’t know what Zimmerman’s intent was in shooting Martin, whether it was in self-defense or to kill him. If we give Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt and say the killing was, indeed, in self-defense, it would only be reasonable that he would be found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, or a crime along the lines of that. It doesn’t make sense to me that he gets to go free. What if Zimmerman does something like this again? What do we do about the laws in Florida surrounding “Stand your Ground”, murder, and manslaughter?What do we do about people who think they have the right to take the law into their own hands? Something isn’t right.
I am angry that somebody can shoot and kill a minor and not get any sort of punishment. I am angry that there are people out there who think they can police neighborhoods without proper training. I am angry that a man can go after a minor because he “looks suspicious”. I can’t help but wonder if the case would have been adjudicated in the way it was if Martin was white. I would like to think that white privilege is a thing of the past, but I’m not disillusioned. It isn’t. We are not living in a “post-racial” society as many people would like to think we are. White privilege exits today, as it has throughout the history of our nation. Did it play a role in this case? I wouldn’t doubt it. There are certainly historical precedents that would suggest so.
In the end, I feel that the ruling was an injustice. A person should not be able to murder a minor and then be set free because of legal technicalities. Laws need to be changed. Now.
“If you won’t listen to reason, there’s always…Towanda.”