When we look at the case State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman involving the murder on Trayvon Martin it seems clear to me that racism is still very much alive in America. Yet, the events involving this case give way that this could go even far beyond the issues of racism. Until today, I did not know that his father is/was a magistrate. Did you know that?
As a law student I know about Common Law and Criminal Law and as such, it is possible that a person can shoot in Self Defence. However, the fact that AGAINST specifically given information by the 911 dispatcher, that he was advised not to go after a person of POSSIBLE interest. There was absolutely NO evidence that Trayvon Martin did anything illegal or that he was breaking the Law in any way.
The fact that he continued on his track in a manner that I personally belief was a trajectory to be some lame kind of ‘hero of the neighbourhood‘ approach is beyond me that murdering a person keeps you out of jail. I would also like to add my personal view that the pictures of Trayvon shows us a kid who would not get the chance to grow up to be a man. The fact that George Zimmerman at 29 saw this kid as a threat gives additional food for thoughts on why this man should even be allowed a firearm whilst racing around as a neighbourhood watch (but that is my personal view).
Getting to the issue of firearms! I am not starting some boast on how evil they are. Guns do not kill people, people kill people (that has always been my belief) and the fact that firearms are a part of life in America is a factor we should accept at present. The fact that he ignored advice from the 911 dispatcher is also an issue. I can understand that in light of liabilities in the US, despatchers are cautious with words and directives. There is however an issue with a neighbourhood watch, going around armed on open public roads enforcing their ‘brand of Justice‘. Enforcing the laws and safety of public roads is for the police!
Whether there are issues on law and evidence was for the courts. I did not investigate all the evidence, mainly because there is way too much of it. 67 CD’s with a list of witnesses that seemed to have passed 100 seems a bit much to me, especially as no one ran outside at the time of the ‘execution’.
The (alleged) information that the father of George Zimmerman is/was a magistrate is also a fact we should not ignore. I am not stating in this that there was any perversion to the course of justice. His son likely got the best preparation any defence could ever desire! If a case could be settled for over 80% by selecting the right jury (as stated by some attorneys in the US), then correctly prepping the defendant for a trial could add another 5-10%. That means that the case was leaning heavily in favour of George Zimmerman from the start. The fact that the burden of evidence was enormously high as was presented with 13 shades, showing 12 shades resulting in not guilty should be some level of indication to the reader how hard it was from the word ‘go’ to get any conviction.
If there is a side to the blame game, then it is shown in the closing arguments. As the prosecution pictures Zimmerman as a man with a mission to take the law in his own hands, then that part seems to have shown to some degree. How Zimmerman went after Trayvon whilst being told not to do this by the 911 despatcher. It is at that same part from the defence that the closing argument falters. As was stated that Zimmerman was not guilty of anything but protecting his own life they fail, because if that was truly the case then Zimmerman would not have ignored advice from 911 and he would not have gone after Trayvon after the police was notified. He went into a place where the police should have been, not an armed neighbourhood watchmen.
The racial issues are mostly exploding now after the acquittal. The part that seems to have contained those issues to some extent is because George Zimmerman is Hispanic, not Caucasian. However, after the acquittal people have taken to the streets in massive ways. LA, Oakland, NY city and several other places. I personally do not believe it is purely a racial issue. The fact that a young unarmed African American got himself murdered by an armed neighbourhood watchmen, might be getting to people a lot more than a Hispanic/African American issue.
In defence to George Zimmerman was the statement by an African American named Tony Johnson. He stated that it is not a crime to follow anybody (Source CNN). Actually, according to the National Victims of crime, it could constitute stalking as it is quoted as “Virtually any unwanted contact between two people to directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim in fear can be considered stalking“. There are unknown factors, yet, an approach of distance and carefully identifying himself George Zimmerman might not have needed to shoot Trayvon Martin. Not being there at all after he notified the police would have resulted in an actual certainty that Trayvon Martin would still be alive.