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The Murder of Trayvon Martin

March 22, 2012

Some events we read about in the news are hard to understand.  Other events seem to be stupidly obvious.  While the events that lead to the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida may seem to be in the former, I assure you, they fall firmly in the latter.

To understand the sad events that lead to this young man’s death, we need look no further than personal choice.  It is not the choices of Trayvon or the Martin family we need question.  No, it is the choices made by George Zimmerman that we must examine.  Further, it is choices of a police department that continues to bury its head in the sand and a state that passes laws that stand in the way of justice.

First let me deal with the issue of not looking at Trayvon’s actions.  This young man walked to the store, then tried to walked home.  How dare him!  He did not steal, he did not accost, he simple went to the store, bought some Skittles, and was walking home.  He made no questionable choice at all.  His life ended due to the choices of others.

George Zimmerman, on the other hand, made all sorts of questionable choices.  The most obvious being:

  1. He chose to be part of a neighborhood watch program that is neither organized nor registered by the local police.  Makes me wonder if he was really part of a group at all.
  2. He chose to arm himself with a concealed weapon while on Neighborhood Watch.
  3. He chose to follow Trayvon, both in his car and on foot.  In other words, Zimmerman created the situation that lead to Trayvon’s death.
  4. He though being African-American made Trayvon “suspicious.”
  5. He ignored the police dispatcher’s instructions not to follow Trayvon.
  6. He confronted Trayvon; neighborhood watch is a “watch and report” organization.
  7. He shot and killed an unarmed teenaged young man that he outweighed by about 100 pounds.

There are many more bad choices George Zimmerman made but how many do we need to see before we understand the bigoted truth of his nature?

The state government, as well as the Stanford Police Department have choices they need to answer for too.  For the state, the choice to pass their “no retreat” law, which seems to be the basis for Zimmerman’s limp defense, needs to be questioned.   At the very least they need to explain why this young man’s death can be justified by such a law.  Of course, the truth of it is they cannot, their simply is no justification.  What is the claim, he was justified because Trayvon was armed with a dangerous pack of Skittles?  He was carried Skittles for crying out loud!  Just how dangerous could he have possibly been?

As for the Stanford police Department, it is their choices before and after the killing of Trayvon that need review.  Here are just a few of their questionable choices:

  1. They took Zimmerman’s word rather than properly investigate.  They failed to take into account prior reports by neighbors about Zimmerman’s aggressive behavior.
  2. They coerced witnesses to change their account of events.
  3. They allowed an investigator with a history of ignoring violence against African-Americans to lead the investigation.
  4. They did not test Zimmerman for drugs or alcohol after the shooting.
  5. They failed to take into account Zimmerman called 911 over 40 times since January of 2011.

There are many more for the police department too, but again, how many do we need to see before we understand they failed to properly handle this case?

This is not a pleasant topic.  It is not something I wish to write about.  Still, it must be written about.  It must be addressed.  What is my discomfort compared to the loss the Martin family is dealing with?  What is your discomfort in me forcing you to think about it?

We may not be able to lessen that loss but we can see they receive justice for a son being taken from them.  Look, let me stop all the niceties and be bunt, in my opinion Zimmerman executed this young man and he must account for it.  As sad as this is, the actions of the police department’s failure to see this for that it is, a murder, further plunges the family into despair.  It further violates them.   Florida has laws that allowed this moron to carry a concealed weapon, then claim self-defense.  He used that weapon to murder.  It was his choice to do so.  Let us choose to make him pay for it.  The police department chose not to do their jobs; they should pay for that too.

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