Trayvon Martin

Can we just please stop all the racial profiling? Trayvon Martin, the 17 year old black teenager shot to death by a 28 year old neighborhood watch volunteer, is only the latest case. How many times do we have to kill a black (or Hispanic or Muslim or Jewish) child before we finally get it. The Sanford, Florida Police Department says they won’t file charges against the volunteer.

Here’s why.

In 2005, Jeb Bush signed “Stand Your Ground” into law in Florida. It says a person can use deadly force if threatened without retreating. George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch guy, is claiming immunity under that law. Before 2005, 13 citizens had been killed in Florida in some sort of private person/suspected criminal confrontation. After the law was passed, the number doubled and in 2009 alone,  45 people died at the hand of citizens using this law as their defense.

29 states have a form of this law, Kansas and Missouri among them, and four more are considering it. Obviously, the problem occurs in its interpretation.  The Florida State District Attorney  has convened a grand jury and The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the Martin case, but that’s hardly enough. The Sanford Police Department should also be held accountable although the police chief temporarily stepped down saying he wants to ‘cool things off.’

George Zimmerman says Trayvon threatened him. Zimmerman weighs 250 pounds. Trayvon, 140 pounds. Zimmerman was driving and had a 9 millimeter handgun in his car. Trayvon was walking with a can of ice tea and a bag of Skittles in his hand.  He was unarmed. He’d pulled his hoodie over his head because it was raining. Zimmerman, who was arrested for resisting arrest and violence and battery in 2005 (who hired him to be a neighborhood watch volunteer anyway?) got out of his car, chased Trayvon, and shot him. There is additional evidence that Trayvon did not provoked Zimmerman.Instead, he ran from him.

Since January of 2011, Zimmerman has reported 46 other black people in the neighborhood. This time he killed one, a 17 year old high school honor student.

I think it is outrageous that George Zimmerman hasn’t been arrested, and I hope you do too.

4 Responses to Trayvon Martin

  • Bob says:

    Racial profiling becomes an instrument of lazy people to police the troublemakers in society. It is part of the New America where we hate people based on the actions of the few members of a group.

    Just read a story about an Iraqi woman beaten to death with a tire iron in San Diego. The “racial profiler” left a note that said something like, “Go Home.” While he may have meant Iraq, he hit her enough times to kill her so she’ll go to another “home”…the funeral home. That’s outrageous.

    An unarmed Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by an armed George Zimmerman who weighed almost twice what Trayvon weighed. Perhaps a can of tea and skittles are more dangerous than I think. To think that the youth “threatened” him and that George could not think of anything better to go than chase the young man and shoot him multiple times is outrageous.

    Lots of outrageous things are happening in America these days from killings like these to politicians sticking their heads where they shouldn’t.

    Prejudice kills. I remember stories from the 1970’s of gay men killed by straight men. One man in Maine was thrown to his death by a group of hoodlums who went free on the “homosexual fear” defense. Another group of boys was set free in Arizona after they stomped and kicked a gay man to death outside a bar. The judge said, “They’re good boys who made a mistake.”

    American history is full of these cases where Americans have taken their prejudices and used them to kill others and claims innocence. We have a history of violence against those different than the majority. Profiling is the latest thing to come along to make discrimination easier and just as deadly.

    • Beth says:

      Bob,
      There is so much injustice in the world because humans are just that, human, but if we can change the mind of even one person with blogs like this, then we have done a good thing. Thanks for your response. Every point you make is important.
      Beth

  • Phil Geissal says:

    Here are a few of my personal thoughts – this happened in a small town just up the road between where I live in Ocala and Orlando, a fairly small town with a population of around 50,000 people; black, white green and yellow, etc. For what it is worth there is a white mayor and a black city manager, the police chief (who has stepped aside – several issues are around this move as he stated to let things cool down, also part of the reality is that the city council gave him a no-confidence vote and he has served 11 months in the position and this move can cost him his severance and other benefits, etc. that do not kick in until a year of service) and they have appointed a well spoken black officer to serve as interim chief for now. Most of these people in charge, aside from the new interim chief (who is staying calm and asking for time for the process to work), have said publicly that Mr. Zimmerman need to be accountable for his actions and that they feel assured that this will happen as the case moves forward.

    I live here and have not gotten the facts I need to make any kind of “verdict” decision. Yes, I believe that George Zimmerman needs to be accountable for his actions. We all need to understand the total scope and ramifications of his actions and what was the extent of Trayvon Martin’s involvement and possible provocations that possibly escalated the confrontation. Much of this we will never know. We do however need action, and unfortunately here in Florida the action is now needed from the State Attorney’s office, where the original attorney assigned resigned and a new one was appointed a couple of weeks ago, slowing the process further. It is a slow and miserable process and one that I wish would hurry up to get the full facts before us all and more important to get the problem in the courts where Mr. Zimmerman will have to answer to those facts.

    The problem is still there, and the in-action has acerbated the issue – however we also have those who are in this for the public relations they can get, from celebrities, TV personalities, those who say they speak for the black community (Rev Al Sharpton (who recently announced that if something was not done immediately that the civil disobedience levels would escalate – the local NACP officers announced that they would not go along with this course of reaction), Spike Lee who put a local family with no ties to Mr. Zimmerman in jeopardy by giving out their address as a place to find Mr. Zimmerman in a national TWEET, Jessie Jackson has been here leading marches, people around the country have picked up on the story. Still without all the facts everyone is marching for Treyvon, even a US House of Representatives member was demonstrating on the House floor and removed for in-appropriate attire. All of this is stirring a pot that the local community seems to be really working to solve and creating problems for the people of that community that they do not need. The local officials are now limited in what they can say due to restrictions by the State Attorney’s office and probably a Grand Jury.

    NO I do not believe this issue, or the base of issues in this arena around our country that it represents, should be swept under the carpet. Far from it! We must continue to face these issues every day, and continue our efforts to do something about them at every level.

    Unfortunately there are unbalanced people in our world and unfortunately a couple of these are centered here in middle Florida who test our sanity. This case and the recent trial of Casey Anthony. The unspeakable results of that trial of Casey Anthony in her daughter’s death still leave me shaking my head. That one also went global. While I spent lots of time listening to the trial, many “facts and/or information was presented by the media that did not get presented to the jury. In reality I feel that the jury probably made the only decision available to them – as there were not any other options open to them aside from “not-guilty or the death penalty” and the State did not present enough proof for the latter judgement. In my opinion other options should have been available to them and I believe that if they were Ms. Anthony would now be behind bars. My interpretation.

    Enough of my ranting, I trust you will be concerned with “Justice for Trayvon – and George” – and take action where you can – first get the facts and then you can make a determination in these cases – the underlying causes for all of these actions need your attention and mine, today and tomorrow – we have not the perfect world, yet we need to constantly work toward it. It is not a problem we can change with the wave of a wand or the passage of legislation – the Martin/Zimmerman case is a perfect example of bad legislation that is being mis-interpreted and tying up what needs to be done to really get at the base of that tragic night – enough of my rambling this is just a few added thoughts on a Blog I respect.

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