What should have been an open and shut case of murder has become a national disgrace, which has rallied Blacks and concerned Whites throughout this country in a cry for justice.
Before we name names or deal with race, lets’ go through some details.
A man called 911 stating that he saw a suspicious looking person in his neighborhood, which he was following. The 911 dispatcher told him that the police were on the way and to stop following the person. Yet the man continued to follow the person, to the point where he got out of his car and followed him on foot. The person being followed told his girlfriend on his cell phone that someone was following him. He then in turn confronted the person following him, which in turn led to the person following him to pull his gun and shoot him dead. When the police arrived they found the person who was being followed lying dead and the killer standing over him. The victim had no gun, knife or any other deadly weapon according to the police. All he had was a bag of Skittles and ice tea, which he had gone to the store to purchase.
Yet the shooter said he shot in self-defense, for fear of his life. The question most are asking is if the killer felt the victim was suspicious, or dangerous why was he following him? The killer was doing the stalking, even after the 911 dispatcher had told him police were on their way and to stop following the person. Yet the police accepted the word of the killer as gospel despite the testimony of three witnesses who said they heard the screams of the person who was killed, the police held no investigation or background checks and never arrested the shooter, nor did the district attorney press charges.
Nothing would have been done if the father of the 17-year-old Black male had not pursued the issue by getting a high profile attorney, Benjamin Crump, who in turn got information out to the media. Most people throughout the country didn’t find out about this murder until weeks later.
Just the above facts should have had all people regardless of race outraged that something like this could happen in America. Where’s Bill O’Reilly? The Tea Party? Even if both people were White or Black, but the victim was a Black male, 17, and the shooter was White.
At first it was reported that George Zimmerman was a part of a Neighborhood Watch group, but the lawyer for the father said he never filled out an application for the group, thus he was not a member. Plus one of the bylaws of the group was that no one involved with them could carry a gun while on watch. Thus this was a lone gunman acting as a vigilante.
The father and mother of Trayvon Martin, Tracy Martin and Sabrina Fulton held a press conference and rally in New York City, along with their attorney Crump, Rev. Al Sharpton and former New York Gov. David Patterson, March 22. After the press conference they held a conference call with members of the Black press to explain what happened, and what their plans were.
The father said he filled a missing person report with the police when his son didn’t come home, and it was three days later that the police notified him his son was dead by having him identify a photo of his dead son. “I had to see my son laying on the ground dead.” The son lived with his mother and brother in Miami but was visiting his father in Sanford, Fla., outside Orlando.
They said they were appalled by the lack of a background check on the shooter, yet there was a background check on the dead boy, as though he was a criminal, or caused the event. A lawsuit was filed to get the 911 tape released, but they said that the mayor went against the city council, police and district attorney, and released the tapes. They said that they wanted the shooter tried for murder, and they had already gone to the Justice Department to see if they could get it tried as a hate crime.
How many other incidents like this have occurred and the parents weren’t able to get a high profile lawyer, who has a high profile activist to push the news media to cover the story on a national basis. With the current atmosphere in this country with the ultra right wing spreading hate, and blaming everything on Blacks and illegal aliens will it become open season on Blacks?
We already have an epidemic in our urban cities of Black on Black violence, now if some kind of example is not set in this case there can very easily be a series of killings throughout this country, especially in the South, of vigilantes who use to be called the Ku Klux Klan, killing what they call suspicious looking Black males.
One reason the police said they didn’t arrest him was the Stand Your Ground law which states that citizens have the right to carry a gun and to defend themselves against attack, which is great if it’s not taken to extreme. In this case it is crystal clear that the aggressor was Zimmerman, not Martin, which negates this law. If Martin had been following Zimmerman then he would have had a case.
The Florida Governor has set up a Grand Jury to be headed by the Lt. Governor.
The fact that this man has not been charged with anything is amazing. And now they are trying to tear down the character of this young man. But the fact remains, that even if he had been a hoodlum, instead of an honor student, he didn’t deserve to be gunned down like that. The killer should still be arrested and charged with cold bloodied murder.
(Ulish Carter is managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier)