The acquittal of George Zimmerman, a Hispanic neighborhood watch captain who shot African American Trayvon Martin in a gated Florida community, has infuriated a segment of Americans who believe Zimmerman racially profiled Martin.
The FBI interviewed more than three dozen people and filed a 300 page report concluding that Zimmerman’s actions were not racially motivated. The FBi conducted a parallel probe to determine if Martin’s civil rights were violated.
The loss of 17-year-old Martin’s life is tragic, heartbreaking, and deplorable. Only Zimmerman and Martin know exactly what transpired that night.
The facts of the case were presented to a 6 woman jury and they deliberated 16 hours before finding Zimmerman not guilty on charges of 2nd degree murder or manslaughter.
I agree with those who refuse to offer an opinion on the outcome of the case. I was not there. I don’t know what was said or what actions and reactions actually occurred.
Here are affirming opinions from some of America’s top legal experts.
The larger point is to avoid allowing emotion to skew with America’s basic legal principles. Doing so risks putting more minorities in prison by giving prosecutors heightened power.
As a member of a free society, I acknowledge that there is potential danger in allowing everyone these very freedoms.
As a father, husband, brother, and neighbor, I also understand the need to be able to protect my family, friends, neighbors, and myself.
Here is a section of the 2012 Florida statutes pertaining to STAND YOUR GROUND.
“(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”
Just as in the Zimmerman trial, I put my faith in the law and judicial system that sustains those laws.
God rest the soul of Trayvon Martin and every one of the 32,000 other lives ended by gun violence, suicide, or accident every year in the United States of America.
As a white person, I cannot even begin to understand the added burden of being Black in America. All I can do is listen, read, and learn from some of the village elders of a culture that is both beautiful and beleaguered.
Noted cultural commentator Bill Cosby gets the last word on the verdict.