Trayvon Martin was a normal 17-year-old kid. On February 26th, Trayvon was walking form the gas station to his friend’s house in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. He was spotted on his way back by 28-year-old George Zimmerman, a member of the neighborhood watch.
Zimmerman immediately called the cops to report Martin as a “suspicious person.” Zimmerman, upon being told not to follow, responded with, “he’s a black male…Something’s wrong with him…These a**holes, they always get away.”
Only Martin and Zimmerman know exactly what happened next, but after hearing shots fired, neighbors immediately called 911. In one of these calls, the tapes that were released on Friday, a woman tells 911’s dispatch that she can hear someone calling for help, while in the background, a voice can be heard pleading, “No! No!” Seconds later, a shot is fired, and the voice is silenced.
George Zimmerman later claimed that he shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense, but his grieving mother claims that her son was shot because of the color of his skin. You see, Travyon was black, and the man who killed him was white. His mother is now requesting that the FBI investigate.
Now, logically, in most cases, the series of events should have led to Zimmerman’s arrest for possible murder. After all, Trayvon was found with a package of Skittles and an iced tea–frankly, neither one of these objects could be considered dangerous. Unfortunately, a Florida law was passed in 2005 called, “Stand Your Ground,” which allows people who feel like they are in a dangerous situation to use violence first, then ask questions later.
Jeffrey Bellin, a law teacher at Southern Methodist University, told NPR’s Joel Rose that:
“As long as you are somewhere you have a lawful right to be, if someone attacks you, the words of the statute are you can meet force with force, including deadly force, if you reasonably believe that that is necessary.”
The law, which has been controversial since it passed in 2005, has been brought to light nationally after what most people are calling the murder of an innocent young man. And, considering the facts, it is highly probable that Trayvon Martin was innocent.
Bellin went on to explain that, unfortunately, this controversial law will make prosecuting George Zimmerman very difficult. Bellin told the newspaper The Monitor that:
“It’s hard to imagine that this couldn’t have been resolved by [Zimmerman] leaving, so that no one would’ve gotten hurt, so this is a case where the Stand Your Ground law can actually make a legal difference…even if you have suspicions about what motivated this, and you think there was a racial element and no justification for this shooting, the fact is he had no obligation to retreat under the law. If prosecutors don’t have the evidence to disprove the claim of self-defense, they won’t be able to win.”
What do you think? Is George Zimmerman justified in his claim of self-defense, or should he be prosecuted for the death of Trayvon Martin?
Check out the video before showing a witness’s statement about what happened: