Monday, July 15, 2013

... the not guilty verdict of George Zimmerman

About Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman ... what have we learned from this? Some suggestions:
  • black boys have to be very careful where they go ( gated white community ), what they do ( walk around at night, in the rain, wearing a hoodie ), and should never get into a situation where they have to stand their ground ( being followed by a stranger with a loaded weapon )
  • white men with loaded guns and bad attitudes need not heed anyone ( the 911 dispatcher )
  • if a black boy dies, it’s just something ( perhaps tragic ) that happens
The white guy was told to stay in his car; he didn't. He followed the unarmed Martin. A clue to his state of mind as he did so is what he had said to the dispatcher, “F***ing punks. These assholes always get away.” It is reasonable to think this attitude showed itself in his demeanor. It is reasonable to suggest he stalked Martin, perhaps threatened him. Which raises another question, “Is not stalking with a loaded weapon a threat all by itself?” Some places have laws against such behavior, even without the weapon! The unarmed boy, attempting to stand his ground, which the law ( presuming it is color blind ) gives him permission to do, accosts the armed man and now the armed man is fearing for his life? George is the only eyewitness to the events, but this strains my credulity. The police, initially, and the jury, eventually, believed it.

A juror said that George was not guilty of anything beyond bad judgment. So, a guy with both a loaded handgun and a loaded perspective ( “These a**holes always get away,” ) gets out of his car, makes decisions, some of which are guided by bad judgment, and another guy dies. That’s just life in these United States?

I have to accept that the jury got it right, that no laws were violated, that Trayvon’s death was the simple result of some bad judgment(s). I am sick; pardon me while I try to settle my stomach.

Further Reading
  1. Much additional material is here.
  2. A particularly thoughtful commentary on how a criminal trial is never going to be about the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is here.

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