Sunday, July 14, 2013

Trayvon Martin Rest In Peace...

I woke up to hear the acquittal verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. I remain in shock at the incomprehensible decision reached by the jury. I haven’t been able to follow the trial as much as I would have liked, but right from the start I felt this was a slam dunk for the prosecution. The whole crime was documented on 911 recordings, there were witnesses, there was evidence.  The jury heard it all and in 16 short hours came to their verdict and acquitted Zimmerman of all charges.

I don’t get it. I understand that there was conflicting testimony about two key facts. First, experts could not identify who was crying out for help and both families said it was Trayvon or George. Then there were witnesses who said they saw Trayvon on top of George in the struggle, others saw George on top of Trayvon. These witnesses were probably instrumental in the jury’s decision by creating “reasonable doubt.” The Florida “Stand Your Ground” law allows a person, whose life is being threatened, to defend themselves. That’s what the defense used to help get George off. But what about Trayvon? Doesn’t he get to stand his ground?

The way I see it, this tragedy would have never happened but for George Zimmerman’s actions. Trayvon took a break from playing video games to go buy a snack. He went out for some Skittles and iced tea. It was raining. He wore his hoodie with his head covered. He went back home, snacks in hand, and talking on his cell phone. George Zimmerman spotted him and thought he looked suspicious. Why? Trayvon wasn’t doing anything, but walking home. The only reason I have heard as to why he looked suspicious to George is because he was black and wearing a hoodie in the rain. For those reasons he decided to call 911 and report Trayvon. The 911 operator told George NOT to follow Trayvon and that they were sending the police out. George ignored them and decided to pursue Trayvon himself. Trayvon told his friend, on the phone, that he was being followed. I don’t know about you, but it would make me very nervous if someone was following me. And if I changed directions and they were still following me, I would start to panic. Trayvon’s friend told him to run home. She must have been concerned and sensed the concern in Trayvon’s voice, to advise him to do that. But, Trayvon was a young man and probably his pride would not let him run home scared. So Trayvon kept walking and an armed George Zimmerman kept following him, like he was hunting for game. Finally, Trayvon confronted George. I imagine his adrenaline was running high and he had no idea what George’s intentions were. So Trayvon stood his ground. He wasn’t armed. He had every right to be in the apartment complex. The confrontation turned into a fight. Who was defending themselves, George or Trayvon? Who had the gun? Whose actions provoked the confrontation? Who was told not to follow Trayvon because the police were on their way?

I don’t care who was on top, who was straddling who, who was yelling for help. All of that doesn’t prove anything really. The stage for tragedy was set when George Zimmerman decided to use racial profiling and assume an overzealous vigilante position despite his training in security watch protocol and what he was told by 911. How was Trayvon supposed to think he had anything but bad intentions, the way George was pursuing him? Wouldn’t any reasonable person feel threatened and in fear for their safety? So he reacted from the fear George created in him and it cost him his life. George wasn’t afraid. George had a gun, so he knew he had the upper hand. But I guess the jury didn’t see it that way. I would like to know how the arrived at their decision and what they considered. Whatever the case, it’s a sad commentary on society.

My prayers go out to Trayvon’s family. They lost an innocent, precious child and there will be no earthly justice for them.

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