Today marks the one month anniversary of the murder of Trayvon Martin.
The tragedy occurred in Sanford, Florida, not even fifteen minutes from the UCF campus. Martin was shot by a “neighborhood watchman” by the name of George Zimmerman. Trayvon, who was unarmed at the time of the murder, was deemed suspicious by Zimmerman during a call to the police. Elements that Zimmerman thought were important to point out were that the young boy was wearing a hoodie, and was African American. The police told Zimmerman repeatedly not to pursue Martin, but he did anyway. Zimmerman admittedly shot and killed Trayvon Martin shortly after.
Rightfully so, this heinous crime sparked a national debate of racism, gun control, and what constitutes a young, innocent boy being shot to death. President Barack Obama even commented on the tragedy, saying that “If I has a son, he would look like Trayvon.”
Almost seventy-five percent of Americans believe that George Zimmerman should be arrested. That number is composed of sixty-seven percent whites, and eighty-six percent non-whites.
Martin lived in Miami, and was visiting Sanford after being suspended from school for ten days for marijuana residue found in his backpack, and this has been widely spread as part of the information pertaining to this case. Many think that this changes the circumstances of the shooting, but Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton tells it best: “They’ve killed my son and now they’re trying to kill his reputation.” The family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, has said that authorities are repeatedly trying to “demonize” the teen. It seems as though they are trying to give justification for Zimmerman’s crime, where there is clearly no justification to be found.
Zimmerman is a white hispanic, whom his family has defended by saying he is being mistakenly portrayed as a racist. Then why was his most pressing reason for suspicion of Martin the fact that he was African American?
People are angry because of the delay in Zimmerman’s imminent arrest. Under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, a person is allowed to legally use deadly force to defend themselves when they feel a reasonable fear of death or serious injury. Sanford police say the evidence they have is not conducive to a proper arrest. However, a young man walking around in a hoodie is far, far from a logical reason to feel “a reasonable fear of death or serious injury.”
What happened to Trayvon Martin is a horrible tragedy, and I only hope that justice is served where justice is due.