Unarmed Florida youth unjustly killed
Feb. 26, Sanford, Fla.
7:11 p.m.: Community watch coordinator George Zimmerman calls 911 to report a “real suspicious guy.” Zimmerman adds that the man looks like “he’s on drugs or something,” and begins to follow him.
7:12 p.m.: Trayvon Martin, 17, picks up a call from his girlfriend and tells her that a strange man is following him; she tells him to run. A scuffle is heard on the line before the call is cut off.
At 7:30 p.m., Trayvon Martin is pronounced dead. Zimmerman tells police he acted in self-defense. The question, however, remains: Was the murder of Martin a case of racial profiling?
The majority of the public seemed to think so. A recording of Zimmerman’s call to the police prior to the shooting revealed his racial bias against Martin. Unprompted, he said, “‘These a**holes, they always get away.” Zimmerman allegedly also used a racial slur when describing Martin, but the word is up for interpretation. The dispatcher advised Zimmerman not to follow Martin and wait for the police, but Zimmerman ignored this suggestion. He was later taken to court as the public prepared for a monumental ruling.
The stand-your-ground law states that a person may use force in self-defense in the face of a reasonable threat. Zimmerman’s lawyers immediately invoked this law in order to free him from blame. Unfortunately for Zimmerman, a teenager carrying nothing but a pack of Skittles and an iced tea posed no legitimate threat in the eyes of the public. The man with the gun triggered the short but fatal scuffle.
According to his girlfriend, Martin first utilized nonviolent self-defense to stop Zimmerman. He allegedly asked Zimmerman why he was being followed, and the two started throwing punches; it was not long until the watch coordinator pulled out a gun, shot Martin and fled the scene.
The unarmed young man, dressed in a hoodie, had not put Zimmerman in a position to invoke his right of self-defense; Zimmerman was the one in pursuit of the boy. All over the nation, “Million Hoodie Marches” in support of Martin were launched as a sign of protest. Various eyewitnesses claim that Martin was calling for help, and one woman said that the police attempted to change her testimony to agree with Zimmerman’s account. The murder was groundless. The watch coordinator had clearly targeted the innocent youth.
Six weeks later, Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and incarcerated.
Martin was killed just 70 yards from father’s girlfriend’s house. On March 15, Chief Bill Lee of the Sanford Police Department released a statement to the press. Based on the timing of the call, Martin had made it to the end of the path and was starting “to walk toward his house. My wish is that he would have kept walking.”
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