As an ABCNews.com article recounts, Trayvon Martin was found dead in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012. The seventeen-year-old was visiting his father in a gated community outside of Orlando. Media reports indicate that twenty-eight-year-old George Zimmerman confessed to killing Travyon, but claims it was out of self defense. Trayvon reportedly walked to a convenience store after dark with his sweatshirt hood up and was walking back to his home with a bag of skittles and an iced tea when he was killed. George Zimmerman is a volunteer with the neighborhood watch and The Miami Herald reported that he has made dozens of calls to police over noise and suspicious activities within the past year.
Zimmerman did not flee after shooting Trayvon Martin, but instead reportedly told police that he acted out of defense because Trayvon attacked him. The state of Florida has “Stand Your Ground” laws which protect individuals from facing charges if they were acting in self defense. 911 tapes and witnesses have come forward discussing the night”s events and police have the difficult task of piecing together what actually happened.
The case of Trayvon Martin is a tragic scenario all around. Racial tensions have surged because of inactivity from officers and the claim that if races had been reversed (black man killing a white teenager), the prosecution would have investigated the shooter more closely. As reports claim, Zimmerman was not administered a drug or alcohol test, nor was he arrested pending further investigation. Shock and outrage has erupted all across the country, sparking marches, protests, and petitions.
In addition to fueling racial tention, this case has brought Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” laws to the forefront of discussion. Perhaps clear guidelines or protocol should be created to explain situations where self defense is reasonable. Above all, the tragedy lies in the fact that on February 26 many people’s lives, on both sides of the fight, were negatively impacted.
Do you think George Zimmerman should be prosecuted? Do you think race plays a part in the case at all? What would you have done if you saw a suspicious person at night after robberies had taken place in your neighborhood? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!
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