Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Iced Tea and Skittles

On February 26th, 2012 Trayvon Martin (left) was murdered by George Zimmerman (right) in Sanford, Florida. Trayvon Martin was a 17 year old African American male and George Zimmerman is a Hispanic American (White father / Hispanic mother). This case has ignited incredible racial tension throughout the United States. When this story first surfaced, George Zimmerman was quoted saying, "I admit, personally, I thought it would blow over."
At the time of the shooting, George Zimmerman was a neighborhood watchman hired by the homeowners association. Zimmerman was not an actual police officer. Zimmerman, however, owned a gun and had a license to carry it. Neighborhood watchmen were encourage to not carry guns, but Zimmerman was permitted to do so by state law.

Zimmerman observed Trayvon Martin walking in a gated community with his hood up and and one hand in his pocket. Martin had his hood up, because on this particular day in Sanford, Florida, it was very cold and rainy. Zimmerman notified the Sanford Police Department of Martin. During the 911 Call, the police department advised Zimmerman to stop following him and that they would take care of it. Zimmerman replied, "OK." He did not stop following him, however. Martin began to run and Zimmerman still followed.

Miami Heat players with their hoods up

Trayvon Martin was also on the phone with his girlfriend. He was telling her that he was being followed by a strange man. The girlfriend overheard Martin saying to the strange man, "What are you following me for?" According to the girlfriend, Martin was then pushed by this man and the phone call was ended. She tried to reach him, but could not.

After finally catching up to Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin only 70 yards from the home he was staying (his father's fiancee's home). Zimmerman claims that he killed Trayvon Martin out of self-defense. Zimmerman noticed that Trayvon ran and had "his hands tucked near his belt." This must mean probable cause to shoot and kill someone. Turns out, Trayvon Martin had a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona Iced Tea.

When police arrived on the scene, George Zimmerman was arrested and brought to the police department. He was later released because he said he shot and killed Trayvon Martin because of self-defense purposes. Because there was not evidence against this claim, the police department released Zimmerman.

Zimmerman's lawyer claims that Zimmerman "suffered a broken nose and a gash to the back of his head."

A witness (I found in this Article) said that George Zimmerman did not try to help Trayvon Martin after he shot him. The witness said that Zimmerman stood over his body with a leg on either side of him and jammed both of his hands into his back, pushing him into the pavement. The witness said that Zimmerman did not turn Martin over to perform CPR or anything to help him out.

My problem with this case is that George Zimmerman was not even a police officer. He was a neighborhood watchmen; an inexperienced, uneducated person that should not have a gun on him during surveillance, let alone using it on a 17 year old boy that is running from him. If Trayvon Martin is RUNNING, he is not fighting back (his self-defense claim).

This case is similar to Tennessee v. Garner that reached the Supreme Court in 1985. In that case, a 15 year old kid burglarized a house, tried to flee, and was shot in the head by the police. The boy was found with $10 and a purse that he stole from the house he was found in. This boy was killed by a police officer after committing a felony. Trayvon Martin was killed by a neighborhood watchmen after BUYING an iced tea and Skittles.

In my opinion, George Zimmerman deserves to go to prison. He used unnecessary force in the wrong situation. He was ordered to stop pursuing Trayvon Martin by the Sanford Police Department and he continued to pursue him. George Zimmerman will not go in front a grand jury, however. Angela Corey will handle the prosecution in Zimmerman's case so I guess we will have to wait and see what happens to George Zimmerman.





  1. In the Tennessee vs. Garner case police officers are allowed to use deadly force on a fleeing felon if they feel the suspect poses a threat. I agree that George Zimmerman was not a police officer and Trayvon Martin was doing absolutely nothing wrong. Zimmerman must take responsibility for the death of Trayvon Martin. While Trayvon Martin was a 17 year old kid who may have looked suspicious (Not like the pictures of him as a 12 year old in the media) George Zimmerman had no right to confront him and possibly scare him just for walking through a neighborhood. Zimmerman did the right thing by calling 911 because he thought Martin was a suspicious character but it should not have gone any further than that. He may have shot Trayvon Martin in self defense but was Trayvon Martin's act of aggression really his own self defense from a man that was following him ?

  2. This case sparked so much controversy and has ignited racial tensions in communities across the world. Not only did Zimmerman stalk this boy because he was a young black male with a hoodie on, he still followed him after he was told not to. The fact that it took so long for an indicemtnet to be brought against him was terrible. As a Black woman, it especially touched me. This could have easily happened to my older brother, cousins, or other male family members. You are supposed to be safe walking down the street when you are minding your own business. A case like this has to make legislators change the laws. Honestly in my opinion it would have been a totally different situation if Zimmerman was a black man and the victim was a young white male. I really actually compared it to the Emmett Till case. We had a crime, we knew who did the crime, but there was no arrest made. If there wasn't such a public outcry a case against Zimmerman may have never reached the courts. They can not apply the Stand your Ground Law to a case like this because Trayvon was no threat to him. Zimmerman initiated the altercation and there are witnesses and his own phone call to cooberate that scenario. I hope that his family gets the justice that they deserve but it will certainly not bring back their son.