The unarmed African-American teen, Martin, was walking back to his father’s house after buying candy at a nearby store – a perfectly innocent and non-threatening activity. This was confirmed by a police report which noted there was "no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the encounter and should not have been accosted.” The police dispatcher specifically prohibited Zimmermann from approaching Martin. Ignoring police appeals, Zimmermann precipated an altercation and an innocent victim was murdered in cold blood. Responding to intense public pressure the police finally arrested Zimmermann after 44 long days.
The verdict is a travesty of a flawed criminal justice system that refused to treat the murder as a crime and has now left a vigilante a free man.
The system of racist brutality carried out against poor people and people of color in communities from Florida to New York to California to Texas and elsewhere is an affront to all Americans. Martin’s tragic death follows a long pattern of police brutality against unarmed black youth such as Oscar Grant, Alan Blueford and Manuel Diaz and countless others.
The ‘Stand your Ground’ Law is a throw-back to the Wild West days when the fastest gunslinger lived. This a barbaric law and should be repealed.
The Zimmerman verdict will imperil all Americans, especially black teens who will no longer feel safe in the ‘land of the free and home of the brave.’