Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old, Florida high school student was shot to death on February 26, 2012. The man who shot him is 28-year-old George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain. Criminal charges against Zimmerman have yet to come as most of the country sits in outrage. Thousands of protestors and over a million signatures on a petition are imploring the city of Sanford, Florida for justice.
The exact story has not been released to the public. What has been confirmed;
Trayvon Martin was unarmed, wearing a hoodie, carrying a bag of Skittles in his pocket and carrying a can of iced tea in his hand. George Zimmerman made a call to 911 to report a suspicious person walking through the gated community that he appointed himself to watch.
Within 2 minutes after that call, Trayvon Martin lies dead in the courtyard with a bullet in his chest, seconds before law enforcement arrived. George Zimmerman was taken into custody for questioning, later released unscathed, un-indicted and is living as a free man under the guise of the “Stand Your Ground Law” of the state of Florida.
Stand Your Ground Law as defined by Wikipedia.com
A stand-your-ground law states that a person may use deadly force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of a threat, without an obligation to retreat first. In some cases, a person may use deadly force in public areas without a duty to retreat. Under these legal concepts, a person is justified in using deadly force in certain situations and the “stand your ground” law would be a defense or immunity to criminal charges and civil suit. The difference between immunity and a defense is that an immunity bars suit, charges, detention and arrest. A defense permits a plaintiff or the state to seek civil damages or a criminal conviction. More than half of the states in the United States have adopted the Castle doctrine, stating that a person has no duty to retreat when their home is attacked. Some states go a step further, removing the duty of retreat from any location. “Stand Your Ground”, “Line In The Sand” or “No Duty To Retreat” laws thus state that a person has no duty or other requirement to abandon a place in which he has a right to be, or to give up ground to an assailant. Under such laws, there is no duty to retreat from anywhere the defender may legally be. Other restrictions may still exist; when in public, a person must be carrying the firearm in a legal manner, whether concealed or openly.
What if I wake up one morning at 2AM and on a whim decide to pack a gun which I have a license to carry, drive to a random area, get out of my car, walk down a public street in a well known dangerous, crime ridden part of town and shoot anyone who approaches me, is that acceptable? Should I be able to do this without ever having to spend one day in jail? What if I want to do this everyday?
Is this a license to kill?
The lead homicide investigator in the shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin recommended that neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter the night of the shooting, multiple sources told ABC News.
But Sanford, Fla., Investigator Chris Serino was instructed to not press charges against Zimmerman because the state attorney’s office headed by Norman Wolfinger determined there wasn’t enough evidence to lead to a conviction, the sources told ABC News.
Wolfinger has since removed himself from the case.
George Zimmerman’s arrest record:
ZUAZO, VERONICA vs. ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE M
Closed – SRS
ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE M vs. ZUAZO, VERONICA A
White, Keith F
Closed – SRS
There was a resisting an officer without violence charge:
Miller, W Michael
CR-RESISTING OFFICER WITHOUT VIOLENCE
And, most disturbingly, a case where he was charged with resisting an officer with violence.
ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE MICHAEL
OKane, Julie H
CR-RESISTING OFFICER WITH VIOLENCE
BATTERY ON LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
All three cases are closed. Resisting an officer with violence is a felony. If charged and found guilty George Zimmerman would not have been allowed to own a gun.
Who is screaming for help? Is it Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman and does it really matter.
In my interpretation of the law, considering it was George Zimmerman who was the pursuer, who drove his car to follow Trayvon Martin, after ignoring law enforcement’s instruction, not to follow him, then got out of his car and approached Trayvon Martin, at that point it is Trayvon Martin who is “Standing His Ground”.
Had Trayvon Martin legally owned a gun and shot George Zimmerman, he would be alive today, but sadly I doubt he would be free.
Trayvon more than likely would be sitting in jail awaiting trial for manslaughter or considering this is the State or Florida, possibly First Degree Murder.
The word “Vigilante” comes to mind as I recall from one of the 911 tapes, Zimmerman says, “these assholes always get away”. I think there’s another asshole who got away.
Sanford Police Department should revaluate this case and seek to indict George Zimmerman so the public has a chance to learn the truth of what happened that rainy evening at about 7:30pm. If he is found guilty in a court of law, George Zimmerman should face the consequences like a man just like the thousands of other young men who have made bad decisions. He’ll survive just like his peers in prison.
A people free to choose will always choose peace
Note* This picture of Trayvon and his girlfriend shows his stature as long and lean. It’s be en reported that Trayvon is approx. 6’2″, 140lb – 150 lbs.