Thursday, March 15, 2012

Floridian Man Kills High Schooler And Gets Away With It.


On February 26, a kid named Trayvon Martin was visiting his dad in Sanford, FL, just outside Orlando. So he and his dad are watching the NBA All-Star game and at halftime, his little brother wants some candy. Trayvon heads out to the convenience store and picks up some Skittles and an iced tea. He’s a junior in high school in Miami who wants to be an aviation mechanic.

As he’s walking home, a car starts following him. The man driving the car is watching him. Trayvon finally turns and says, “What’s your problem?” The problem is he “walks in a suspicious way” – and the guy in the car is a [28] year old neighborhood watch captain who has been stalking him from the convenience store. When Trayvon confronts him, the man gets out of his vehicle and they get into some kind of shoving match. The shoving match ends with the unarmed teenager dead on the ground within sight of his dad’s front yard.

This being 2012, one should know just how this story ends: the police show up and arrest the neighborhood watch captain for gunning down an unarmed seventeen-year old young man.  But this is 2012 in America, and that is most certainly not how this story ends. 

George Zimmerman, the white college student bearing the illustrious title of "neighborhood watch captain," (his major, perhaps?) was not arrested for killing Trayvon Martin.  In fact, he was questioned and then let go that very evening after telling the police that he acted in self-defense.  He used a 9mm handgun in self-defense against an unarmed teenager.  I'll come back to that.   

  By the way, the ladies go absolutely crazy for 
neighborhood watch captains.  

The picture above is significant because that's what the neighborhood watch does.  It calls the police to report suspicious behavior.  Members of neighborhood watches are not supposed to take matters into their own hands.  And while Zimmerman did call the police - the dispatch told him they were sending a unit and that he should back off - he decided he wasn't going to let some officer with a badge nail his "perp."

Here's a few more facts about this whole ordeal:
1.) Police told Martin's father that Zimmerman was not arrested because his record was "squeaky-clean" and that he had acted in self defense.  New evidence shows that his record is anything but clean via The Huffington Post, as well as a few other interesting complaints by neighbors.
2.) Trayvor was not carrying a weapon - just a can of ice tea and a bag of Skittles for his younger brother.
3.) "Walking suspiciously" is no reason to follow and harass a young person.  Calling the police is an extreme, especially when said individual is carrying a bag of Skittles.  
4.) Chief of Police, Bill Lee, said that they had insufficient evidence to arrest Zimmerman.  He had a bloody nose and grass stains on his clothes.  Oh, and a handgun that had recently been fired, gun shot residue on his person, and a bunch of bullets that, if fired from his handgun, would match the one inside Trayvon's chest.  But those last three aren't evidence, apparently.
5.) Zimmerman is not studying to be a neighborhood watch general, as I earlier joked.  He actually attends (or attended - sources differ) college for a degree in criminal justice.
6.) If you didn't click on the links above, I'll also add that Zimmerman has a history of violence.

This is racism, plain and simple.  I mean, come on - walking suspiciously? Zimmerman may not have left his home with the intention of shooting someone that night, but I'm sure he wanted to get into a fight.  He probably saw Trayvor leaving the convenience store, convinced himself that the young man looked suspicious, and geared up for a fight.  A fight he was losing if the bloody nose and the need to pull out his handgun are any indication.

But there's one thing that I really can't get over: this whole "self-defense" excuse.  First of all, if anyone was acting in self-defense, it was Trayvor.  What does every parent warn their children about?  Creepy-ass strangers.  I would, even at 22, be pissed if some law enforcing wanna-be was following me for walking suspiciously.

Second of all, I did a bit of research on Florida self-defense laws (Ms. Curran, you'd be proud of me!) and found something positively interesting.  Florida Statute 776.013 states that you can defend yourself with deadly force if someone is trying to break into your vehicle.  Trayvor did not try to break into Zimmerman's vehicle - Zimmerman clearly got out of his car and engaged the young man (hence the grass stains and bloody nose).  It also states that, in order to take advantage of the statutes protection, you cannot be involved in unlawful activity at the time of the incident.  Stalking a seventeen year old boy after being specifically told not to by the police seems a bit unlawful to me, but that's really a judgment call.

Also, according to a website on Florida's Lawful Self-Defense policies, use of deadly force is only justified when 1) Trying to protect yourself or another person from death or serious bodily harm and 2) When trying to prevent a forcible felony such as rape, robbery, burglary, or kidnapping.  As Trayvor was unarmed, Zimmerman should not have been worried about "serious bodily harm."  I highly doubt Trayvor, who once courageously pulled his father out of a burning building, would have beat him to death with his hands.  Being only 70 feet from his father's home at the time, Trayvor probably would have made Zimmerman regret following him with a good ass kicking, and nothing more.  

To further that point, the website gives an example: "Two neighbors got into a fight, and one of them tried to hit the other by swinging a garden hose. The neighbor who was being attacked with the hose shot the other in the chest. The court upheld his conviction for aggravated battery with a firearm, because an attack with a garden hose is not the kind of violent assault that justifies responding with deadly force."  Also note that, in Florida, verbal threats are not enough to justify the use of deadly force.   

So there you have it.  The Sanford Police of Florida have failed to do their job at arresting someone for voluntary manslaughter.  Zimmerman is a miserable bastard that deserves to go to prison for the crime he has committed.  Thankfully, I'm not the only person that thinks so. is circulating a petition to have Zimmerman prosecuted.  I urge all of my readers to sign it if you haven't already.  At the time of this posting, it has 234,231 signatures, and it only needs 300,000 to get sent to the district attorney.  Let justice be served.

My heart goes out to the Martin family who lost a member far too early.  By all accounts, he was a bright young man with an equally bright future.  He did not deserve this. 


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