The Trayvon Martin shooting unavoidably has race written all over. Martin’s skin color, George Zimmerman’s racial background, even the teenager’s hoodie. Now set that aside, and one is left with core issue. What right did Zimmerman have to interrogate Martin in the first place? He is not a police officer.
The answer is race. Zimmerman saw a black man walking near a white community.
Some focus on “stand your ground,” the Florida law which permits a victim to protect himself if there’s reasonable fear of being physically injured or killed by another individual. This is the same law Zimmerman’s former attorneys applied to their client, who claims to have shot Martin is self defense.
Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder on Wednesday and is being held without bail.
Maybe Martin did attack Zimmerman, maybe he didn’t. But that shouldn’t be the focus; it should be Zimmerman’s initial intentions before the tussle.
Zimmerman had no right to follow or question Martin about his business while he was walking past the white community. The 17-year-old had come back from a convenience store with a bag of skittles and iced tea, and was on his way to his father’s girlfriend’s house, according to police reports.
Some argue that Zimmerman had probable cause to believe the young man was up to no good, and therefore followed and interrogated Martin. But probable cause applies only to law enforcement; the police. Zimmerman is a neighborhood’s volunteer vigilante; this is a big difference. It is important that we distinguish between the two.
A volunteer watchman does not wear a police badge, or carry a gun.
It’s quite simple: Zimmerman saw an African-American walking past a white neighborhood and proceeded to find out why.
Zimmerman placed the nine-one-one call and was asked by police to stand down. But apparently Zimmerman refused to do so. He wanted to be the hero who would save the white community from a man of color, who was of no threat: he hadn’t a gun, not even a knife, just some junk food.
Unfortunately Martin was of the wrong skin color, who just happened to pass by at the wrong time, the same time Zimmerman was there.
Until there is no proof that Martin was an eminent threat to that community,he is simply the victim of a racially motivated killing that occurred as he made his way home from buying candy.
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