Talk about a shock heard around the world…the story about Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Florida teen, being shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, has attracted national attention primarily because he has not been charged or arrested for this crime, claiming self-defense.
At the “Justice for Trayvon Martin rally” here inLos Angeles, hundreds of protesters gathered to pay homage to this young man whose life, they say, will not be in vain. Many of the protesters were from our local black communities with their children wearing hoodies and holding Skittles like Trayvon. Attendees of the protest are looking for equality in the way we treat each other regardless of race, creed or color.
The argument by state officials revolves around the 2005 self-defense law called, Stand Your Ground, stating that Zimmerman negated his ability to claim immunity under the law by chasing Martin. This is a law for innocent, law-abiding citizens who are under attack by a perpetrator, but anyone who is out pursuing and confronting people is not protected by this statute. This law states that Florida residents can use lethal force against an attacker if they believe their life is threatened, regardless of the location.
Zimmerman was told by a police dispatcher not to follow Martin, but a few minutes after the police call, Martin lay dead from a gunshot to the chest. At the time of this call it appeared that Zimmerman had some suspicion but was in no way being threatened. It was his decision to get out of his car and pursue Trayvon on foot. Who attacked who here?
I agree that in light of the fact that the dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow Trayvon Martin, and he went against this authority, that Zimmerman should have and should still be arrested and held without bail until he faces a trial to determine the facts of the incident and if, in fact, he is innocent.
This is a horrible example of giving a young man a weapon and the belief that he has the authority and the power to use that weapon at his own discretion. Extremely poor judgment or even prejudice may be the culprit for this wrongful death. What is your opinion of this situation?