I’m sure by now that many of you have heard about the Trayvon Martin case, the unarmed 17 year old black male who was gunned down by volunteer neighbourhood watchman George Zimmerman. The case has caused a public outcry that has gone on for more than a month now and has once again sparked the debate over guns, race, and constitutional rights. To me the incident is clear cut, the Sandford police department clearly failed in handling this case and Zimmerman should not have been let off the hook so quickly given the events in question.
- Trayvon Martin was clearly minding his own business that night, he was not commiting any crime, he was not armed.
- Trayvon was walking through a public area, he was not on anybody’s property.
- Zimmerman decided to persue Martin against the requests of the police dispatcher to leave this to the real police to investigate.
- Trayvon was unarmed and was clearly being stalked by Zimmerman.
- Trayvon was shot, Zimmerman claimed it was in self defence.
- None of the witnesses could account for what exactly sparked the incident (some witnesses came out claiming they saw the fight)
- Trayvon can’t defend himself that night, Zimmerman can.
Whether you believe that Zimmerman is innocent is besides the point, his words should not have been taken so readily as a confirmation of innocence. A thorough investigation should have been carried out, his parents should have been given the chance to persue this further. Zimmerman is clearly the confirmed killer in this case, he is not merely a suspect of Trayvons death, he must demonstrate his innocence as with many other cases in the same light.
Most rightwingers and Zimmermans defenders have not been taking the attention this case has been receiving very well. Putting aside the arguments for Zimmerman, posters on various websites have been accusing the Trayvon supporters and the media of being biased in this particular case as compared to others. They cite a number of incidences involving murders which they insist are of the same circumstances, yet not given an equal amount of attention merely because the victims are white (or not black). It’s the whole ‘whites are treated badly because of political correctness’ ploy, I’ve certainly heard it before. But let’s look at these other recent cases being cited by Zimmerman supporters as evidence that Trayvon’s case is racially biased against none-blacks, are we comparing apples with oranges here? I certainly think so when we go down case by case. It’s any wonder why these folks can’t link us to the details of these other cases:
3 black men killed a young white male, where’s the outrage??
Let’s have a look at this case:
A student was shot to death at a Mississippi State University residence hall late Saturday night, prompting campus-wide alerts as authorities searched for suspects who fled the scene.
In this case the suspects, reported as 3 black males, had fled the scene. We don’t know who the killers are and there is a full investigation going on to find them. Unlike the Trayvon case, the killers have not been definitively identified, and they have not been let off the hook mainly over a plea of self defence. Apples and oranges!
Black man rapes and murders white woman
A horrific incident, a black male raped and murdered a white woman, why isn’t this getting as much attention as the Trayvon case though?
Christopher Lemar Johnson, 20, is charged in the slaying of Emma Jean Beasley, police said. Johnson was arrested Monday. Police arrested him based on witness identifications – though not the victim’s – and fingerprints found at the scene, an arrest report said.
“They [investigators] did a super, super job,” said Geneva Griffin, the mother of Beasley’s son-in-law, Danny Griffin. “Thank God.”
Hold on, the guy was caught and charged, the son in law saw justice? The police actually did their jobs in this case? He wasn’t let go? He didn’t plea stand your ground? Maybe the old women attacked him first huh?
And then there is this case, the one being cited as being almost identical to that of the Trayvon Martin case. A black man in Greece, New York, shot an unarmed white teen after he thought they were breaking into a ca (updated, they were actually breaking into a neighbours car). The case is explained rather well here in comparison to the Trayvon case:
Scott shot Christopher Cervini in 2009 in Greece on a windy and rainy night. Scott saw Cervini and his friends rifling through neighbors’ cars. He went outside with a gun as his girlfriend called police. Scott confronted Cervini and said the youth ran at him. Scott shot Cervini dead.
Police wasted no time charging Scott with murder. A grand jury knocked the charge down to manslaughter. Scott testified in his own defense. A jury acquitted him.
Scott was charged right away. No charges have been filed against George Zimmerman,
What? Scott actually appeared in court to have to defend himself? Police didn’t just let him off the hook?
Zimmermans supporters, many of who have obvious political motivations, are obviously trying to throw anything and everything against the kind of attention this case is receiving, and they are looking very desperate by the moment. It really doesn’t help their case with a recent surveillance tape that popped up showing an unshaken unbruised Zimmerman (1) (we await a medical report from the EMT’s to confirm Zimmermans supposed injuries).
The core issue here, the one that ignited the kind of public outcry to this point, was the very casual handling of this case, despite the facts at hand. Do the victims of those other cases matter any less than that of Trayvon? No of course not, but the people who took the lives of those other victims were ultimately held accountable in court, the victims were given a proper investigation and those suspects of the one case involving the university student are being persued by police. The fact is that unlike those other victims and their unfortunate circumstances, Trayvons death was sweeped under the rug by the police department. Zimmerman, the self admitted killer, had his words and accounts of that night were taken as gospel. Why police did so, many argue racism, some argue age discrimmination, but the police obviously didn’t do their job. If anything those other cases and the handling of the killers, all black, is very telling compared to that of Zimmerman, a white hispanic neighbourhood watchman with a history, who was so readily let off the hook.
Rest assured, although the police department thought they were done with the case, the public wasn’t. Zimmerman didn’t account for his actions neither did the police department, and as the result they saw the consequences. Just because you have a gun, doesn’t mean you can ignore the consequences of your actions. Zimmerman will have his day in court.