Thoughts on the Trayvon Martin Case

It was almost a month ago when, on a seemingly quiet Florida evening in February (the 26th to be exact), 17 year-old Trayvon Martin was found shot and killed in Sanford Florida, just a little bit north of Orlando.  The controversy surrounding the case has blown up into national news because of Zimmerman’s (Trayvon’s assailant) alleged racial motivation AND due to the fact that he has yet to be convicted or even arrested.

Strange that almost a month has gone by since Zimmerman, a “self-appointed” neighborhood watch captain, shot and killed the Florida highschool student in the street and yet he remains free as a bird.  To the best of my knowledge, the only trouble he has run into following the alleged murder has been the national attention his story has garnered.

The reason that Zimmerman remains unarrested after such a long time goes back all the way to th night of the incident ‘in question’.  When police arrived on the scene Zimmerman was standing over Martin (lying motionless and shot on the ground) with a bloody nose and a small wound on the back of his head.  Treyvon was pronounced dead at the scene and on his person all he had was a bag of skittles and some ice tea.  Despite what it looked like (cold-blooded murder and potentially a hate crime  in my opinion) Zimmerman claimed that he killed the unarmed teen in self-defense.

Believing Zimmerman’s story, police did not administer a drug/alcohol test or even a background check and the 28-year-old walked out of there scott-free.   Now, whether or not there was any racial motivation behind Trayvon’s death (which is likely and we will get deeper into in a minute) I think it is ridiculous the extent to which the police did nothing to pursue information about the case on the night of the confrontation.  Standard precautionary and diagnostic methods don’t seem to have been followed (alcohol/tox screen, background check, etc…)

Additionally, why the deuce was this guy walking around on his neighborhood watch ‘patrol’ with a loaded handgun? Even if we buy self-defense (Zimmerman did, after all, have some defensive wounds) was it really necessary to shoot the skinny 17 old dead where he stood in the street? Was there no other way to defend from fists, skittles, and ice tea than a fatal gunshot wound?  The case raises interesting and hard questions about gun possession and safety laws in this country even for a warm-blooded Virginian like me who is admittedly not that anti-gun in  the grand scheme of things.

It isn’t fair to jump the gun (no pun intended) and cry wolf on the racism card every time an African-American gets killed in this country.  However, as more and more conversations swirl about the case and new information gets dug up from the original 9-1-1 calls on the night of the murder(?) it is becoming more and more certain that this was yet another hate crime.

  1. Although we are not certain who he was referring to, Zimmerman says in one of his calls to the 911 dispatchers that night that “these assholes always get away.” Maybe Zimmerman took matters into his own hands to ensure that one of ‘them’ did not get away this time.
  2. Another tape reveals Zimmerman uttering expletives under his breath followed by what has been recognized by many as racial slurs.  The exact nature of the language is unclear because of the shitty ass recording, but you can hear some stuff that sounds pretty conclusively discriminatory in my eyes ears.   On Anderson Cooper they played it like 100 times in a row and after a while you begin to decipher bits of it fairly well within the enhanced audio.

Since March 19th, the US Justice Department has launched an investigation into the case, so more and more evidence builds by the minute.  Also, a petition on for Zimmerman’s arrest has been signed online by over 9000,000 people so far.  I don’t know if the rally led by Al Sharpton in Sanford FL today will help or hurt the case in the long run, but it certainly drew even more attention to the issues surrounding Zimmerman, the police, and the Martin family.

Regardless of what happens, more facts need to be uncovered and evaluated to make a more thorough case…. something that should have been done from the get-go.  The Police chief of Sanford FL, Bill Lee, obviously agrees with me because today he announced he is stepping down.  Clearly he know he F’ed up.

I’m interested to see where this goes from here…