The story of Trayvon Martin’s death is heartbreaking. If you have missed the facts: The 17-year-old, who is black,was walking to his dads house after going to the corner store ,in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., when a white neighborhood-watch volunteer, 28-year-old George Zimmerman, spotted him.
Zimmerman called the cops to report a suspicious person who told him not to follow.“These assholes they always get away,” Zimmerman told dispatch in a 911 call released Friday, and he kept tracking Martin. Zimmerman had a gun, Martin was carrying only an ice tea and the Skittles he’d just bought at the store. The two had a struggle and upon hearing shots, neighbors called 911. In one call that’s hard to listen to, a woman anxiously says she can hear someone calling for help while in the background, a terrified, wailing voice pleads, “No! No!”Zimmerman shot and killed Martin, but he said he did so in self-defense. The shocker of this case so far is that the Sanford police claim that they do not have “probable cause” to make an arrest, albeit Zimmerman admitted to shooting Martin, but now recanting this as “self defence”. Martin’s mother told the Today show Monday morning that her son was killed “because of the color of his skin,”and his parents wants the FBI to investigate.
To hear the very chilling recordings of the 911 calls made the night of February 26, Click Here .
Despite the fact yesterday evening , the United States Department of justice and the FBI announced that they have opened an investigation into the death of Trayvon.
Below is the statement the DOJ released last night to the press:
“The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, and the FBI opened an investigation into the facts and circumstances of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation. The department also is providing assistance to and cooperating with the state officials in their investigation into the incident. With all federal civil rights crimes, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted intentionally and with the specific intent to do something which the law forbids – the highest level of intent in criminal law. Negligence, recklessness, mistakes and accidents are not prosecutable under the federal criminal civil rights laws. The Community Relations Service will be in Sanford, Fla., this week to meet with civil rights leaders, community leaders, and local law enforcement to address tension in the community.”
However when the story first broke details where sketchy but now that I’ve seen the television segments I’m completely certain that this is a racially profile case or what is better known under Fleras and Kunz typology of racism as systemic racism.Firstly let me state I’m not racist but I’m completely of the view that every human should be treated equally no matter their race ,class ,gender or social background.
Let’s take a talk down memory lane;
- Trayvon Martin was on his way walking home in a gated community;
- George Zimmerman, spotted him and called the cops to report a suspicious person who in turn ,told him NOT to follow;
- Martin was carrying only an ice tea and the Skittles he’d just bought at the store;
- Zimmerman had a gun;
- The two had a struggle that no one saw and upon hearing shots, the neighbours called 911;
- Zimmerman shot and killed Martin, but he said he did so in self-defense.
Now that your memory is refreshed let’s dive right into the issues and the law.Two matters need to be considered: Did the defendant in fact cause the victim’s death, and if so, can he be held to have caused it in law?
Let’s back up, with the help of Jeannie Suk, a Harvard law professor who wrote an article in 2008 that I’ll rely on for the next few paragraphs.
In the 17th century, English common law held that people whose lives were threatened in a public place could use deadly force to defend themselves only after retreating as far as possible. It was up to the king and his men to keep the peace, and everyone else was supposed to stand aside. There was only one exception: If someone broke into your house, you could kill him without retreating.
This is called the Castle Doctrine, after the old saying that a man’s house is his castle. It makes intuitive sense a limited exception to the duty to retreat that leaves the rule in place. But when the Castle Doctrine made its way to America, Suk says, some courts expanded it. Now someone under attack could “repel force by force” if he was attacked “in a place where he has a right to be.” That’s how the Supreme Court put it in 1895. This is amazingly called the “true man” doctrine, from a line in an 1876 case: “A true man, who is without fault, is not obliged to fly from an assailant, who by violence or surprise, maliciously seeks to take his life or do him enormous bodily harm.”
However, Zimmerman is pleading that it was all self-defence under Florida’s law
Florida’s 2005 Stand Your Ground law allows people to use deadly force if they “reasonably believe” that it’s “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.” But unlike Castle Doctrine laws, which amount to “kill anybody” who sticks his head in your house,” Stand Your Ground doesn’t appeal to the primal sense of invasion and self-defense associated with one’s own home. Castle Doctrine laws at least rely on the idea that you are confronting someone who has already violated your property or safety, without any input or action from you. Stand Your Ground is a great, legally roving murder bubble.
But it can be argued and is stated :
In Posey v Commonwealth a 2006 Ky Supreme Court case under the new 2006 statues, 503.050 shows the use of physical force in self-protection — Admissibility of evidence of prior
(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 felony involving the use of force.
The law cited grants A the right to defend himself when attacked by B. A may use “deadly force”, as Zimmerman did. Despite that my view is that it does not matter who had thrown the first punch , Trayvon had all rights to defend him seeing as his life was at risk and Zimmerman had in fact use excessive force thus becoming the aggressor.I do not know a lot about the US laws seeing as they are completely different from the Caribbean and English Laws. But I do know this,the law is a system of rules a society set to maintain order and protect harm to persons and property, my next question is if such law is placed to maintain order and protect harm to persons why isn’t someone arrested already?
The disputed question is law really needed”? As simplistic as it may seem to answer, it is fundamental that we ask. Personally, laws are guidelines that set out appropriate behaviour that has been developed over time, and are based on moral beliefs, a human condition that sets out a purpose that society in general is called upon –or required to fulfill. Without the fulfilment of these desired tasks, man simply will become equal to animals or worse still, allow their darker sides (or impulses) to emerge and control their lives. Thus, law acts as a guardian against the inevitable anarchy that would engulf humanity (if you want proof, simply turn to the riots that take place in America when officers of the law go out on strike).
On the other hand, we have those who believe that mankind is naturally good, and it is the external forces that surround us that are completely responsible for any wrong doing that takes place – for instance, the government.
I believe a conviction is possible.They have evidence that he was in pursuance of Martin despite the officer’s instructions not to do so coupled with his comment “These assholes- they always get away.” may show that the self-defence defence may not succeed in this case. They don’t have to charge him with murder; however they can charge him with reckless homicide.By the same token, I agree that race has a part to play in this as well and many other Americans would have done the same had they seen a black hooded guy walking about.
If the criminal justice system won’t touch a case unless it’s an easy slam-dunk for the prosecutor, it is no wonder people feel the need to protect themselves.
Enclosing my plea to you is Trayvon Martin was not a threat nor did he show any sign that he had broken into the houses in the community , it was frankly because he look suspicious he was black and was wearing a hoody.Can someone please tell me why within this day and age is the race card still being thrown around so freely and why is it that Mr. Zimmerman is still walking around as a free man?Critically thinking about the case we see the over-simplification of the events of not being that big of a deal compared to if the issue was reversed. Black on white crime or even if Trayvon was shot in the ghetto rather than a gated community. In addition, we see the displacement of blame on the State and displacement of duties as they relegated the position of neigbourhood watch to Zimmerman who belongs to an organisation to help protect communities. This whole situation seriously angers and disgusts me on every different angle and I just pray that the judging and the stereotyping will soon end.
Below is a very intriguing segment that I saw fitting to include , which was written by Michael Skolnik the Editor-In-Chief of GlobalGrind.com
We’ve heard the 911 calls. We seen the 13 year old witness. We’ve read the letter from the alleged killer’s father. We listened to the anger of the family’s attorney. We’ve felt the pain of Trayvon’s mother. For heaven’s sake, for 24 hours he was a deceased John Doe at the hospital because even the police couldn’t believe that maybe he LIVES in the community. There are still some facts to figure out. There are still some questions to be answered. But, let’s be clear. Let’s be very, very clear. Before the neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, started following him against the better judgement of the 911 dispatcher. Before any altercation. Before any self-defense claim. Before Travyon’s cries for help were heard on the 911 tapes. Before the bullet hit him dead in the chest. Before all of this. He was suspicious. He was suspicious. suspicious. And you know, like I know, it wasn’t because of the hoodie or the jeans or the sneakers. Cause I had on that same outfit yesterday and no one called 911 saying I was just wandering around their neighborhood. It was because of one thing and one thing only. Trayvon is black.
So I’ve made the choice today to tell my white friends that the rights I take for granted are only valid if I fight to give those same rights to others. The taxi cab. The purse. The meal. The police car. The police. These are all things I’ve taken for granted.
So, I fight for Trayvon Martin. I fight for Amadou Diallo. I fight for Rodney King. I fight for every young black man who looks “suspicious” to someone who thinks they have the right to take away their freedom to walk through their own neighborhood. I fight against my own stereotypes and my own suspicions. I fight for people whose ancestors built this country, literally, and who are still treated like second class citizens. Being quiet is not an option, for we have been too quiet for too long. (Source: Global Grind)