Observe and Report – George Zimmerman

Posted: March 22, 2012 by chuckspears in life, social issues, WTF
Tags: , , , , ,

Okay, so tell me who sounds more suspicious in this situation, a 17 year old high school junior with a hoodie on when it’s raining walking home from a convenience store or a 28 year old man in car following a high school student? The guy in the car wasn’t a police officer. But he did have aspirations to become one. George Zimmerman is a neighborhood watch captain and a college student that is claiming self-defense in the fatal shooting of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, who was visiting his father’s house in Sanford, FL a suburb just outside of Orlando, to watch the NBA All-Star Game . By all accounts Martin had gone to the local convenience store to pick up snacks for his younger brother. A simple task that we’ve all had to do at some point I’m sure, but on his way back home, Zimmerman notices him and sees him as a potential threat to the gated community. Zimmerman calls 911 and says he sees a suspicious person in the area, a slim African-American teenager walking around at night wearing a hoodie. Moments later there are other 911 calls, not from Zimmerman but from others in the community who are concerned by the sound of a series of gun shots. Gun shots that took the life of a young man whose dreams, goals, failures and successes will never have a chance to be explored, they were brought to a dramatic conclusion by a man that according to some reports is ten years older and 100 lbs. heavier than the victim. There are some holes in the story concerning what happened between Zimmerman’s phone call and Martin’s life coming to a close. My guess is that, against Neighborhood watch procedure, Zimmerman confronts young Trayvon and is questioned or ignored, this upsets Zimmerman and as a result a scuffle breaks out. The older man gets the worst of it and draws a weapon, a 9mm handgun, which he uses to settle the dispute. He then claims self-defense and is not arrested for the murder of an unarmed minor. And since there’s a law on the books in Florida called “Stand Your Ground” he wasn’t even arrested because much like the law stating you can defend yourself with lethal force in your home, Stand Your Ground extends that to anywhere a gun owner is occupying space (within the state).

This whole situation in unsettling because Zimmerman has a history of run-ins with the law. He hasn’t been convicted of any crimes, but has been arrested once for allegedly assaulting an officer who was trying to  arrest one of his friends. He assaulted an actual officer, a paid civil servant not some random guy that appointed himself the captain of a neighborhood watch organization, and wasn’t shot for his offense. He was also charged with allegations of domestic violence. Although he has had his troubles with the law, he also has a pretty good record as  a neighborhood watch captain, calling into 911 to report suspicious activity in the neighborhood about 50 times in the last year and even apprehending a robbery suspect. Which begs the question, what was it about Trayvon Martin that made this call, where he was told not to take any action so different? What made led to the fight and subsequent shooting murder of a college junior with no weapons on or near his person, and why wasn’t the shooter arrested and tried before being given a pass? Doesn’t self-defense have to be proven in a court of law, not to a patrol officer?

These questions have led to an uproar in the black community. The cry for justice has been heard across the country and there are talks of this being made a federal investigation. In recent cases such as the shooting deaths of Sean Bell and Amadou Diallo, the “wall of blue” put up by police to protect their own led to not guilty verdicts for officers who fired 50 and 41 shots respectively at unarmed targets. What baffles me here is that George Zimmerman isn’t even a policeman, yet for some reason he seems to be insulated from any form of possible justice at the moment.He hasn’t been arrest or charged despite Trayvon’s parents insistence for justice. Some people are chalking this up to racial profiling, but Zimmerman’s father is adamant that due to his mixed background (Latin-American and Jewish) there was no possibility of racial discrimination on George’s part. He even has black family members and friends. Which is a bullshit defense, because when I was a teenager  working at Barnes & Noble, the store manager, who was Jamaican, told me to especially keep an eye out for black youth because they  steal. Meanwhile, the only person we caught stealing in my time there was a white teenager (that I actually went to school with). When I greeted him a few Design markers fell out of his sleeve. The point being, even African-Americans profile and demonize one another.

When is this madness going to stop?



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