It’s starting to look like the killing of Trayvon Martin, a black 17-year old boy who was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla., about a month ago, is never going to be characterized as the homicide it appears to be.
Zimmerman noticed Martin wandering around a gated community with a hoodie sweatshirt on and his hands in his pockets when he decided the teenager was suspicious and up to no good.
From what we know, the worst thing Martin did was walk in the rain to the store for a bag of Skittles and a beverage, while Zimmerman ended up shooting an unarmed, 150-pound high school kid.
The reports on what happened when the two ultimately encountered are conflicting, but the latest indicate that Martin swung on Zimmerman before he was ultimately shot and killed. According to police authorities, Zimmerman hasn’t been arrested because of that part of the story.
In all of this, Trayvon Martin has been made out to be an aggressive young black male who threatened the life of Zimmerman, even though everything aside from Zimmerman’s story, mainly multiple 911 calls, indicate the opposite was the case. Still, that’s the story and I have the worst feeling that authorities are sticking to it.
What’s extremely problematic about it is that none of what the police have to say makes sense here, and the way the entire process is being carried out is turning out to be more offensive than Zimmerman’s initial stereotyping and preconceived notions about Martin.
It’s obvious that Zimmerman is a troubled man, considering he is 28-years old calling himself the neighborhood watch captain, but can’t handle the blows of a 150-pound, 17-year-old kid. Why even have the neighborhood watch if that’s who’s representing?
So, I figure there is something terribly wrong with Zimmerman just based off his own words and action, whether he was really defending himself against Martin or not.
But what’s wrong with the police? How did that area of the country manage to land such ineptitude in not only law enforcement, but basic understanding of logic?
The Sanford police are trusted to be responsible, but they have accepted a haphazard story from the gunman of the dead body that they reportedly didn’t even immediately attempt to identify?
Again, that’s problematic. Let’s play this out the way it’s being reported:
Zimmerman got out of his vehicle to pursue Martin (in the rain) after saying some borderline racist stuff to the 911 dispatcher, so Martin and Zimmerman are now both on foot. Then, Zimmerman loses sight of Martin and returns to his vehicle. That’s when Martin supposedly reappears and confronts him and eventually smacks Zimmerman in the nose. He shot the boy during the scuffle, which Zimmerman admits Martin was getting the best of.
With respect to the slight possibility of this account being true, my 22-month old daughter could tell a better story than that.
The only way it sounds reasonable for Zimmerman to have lost sight of Martin is if he kept trying to follow him in his vehicle, while Martin remained on foot. Of course, you can run more places than you can drive.
But how are we supposed to believe that Zimmerman was so adamant in pursuing Martin, that he waited until he got out of his vehicle to “lose sight” of him? So they were both on foot, Zimmerman lost sight of Martin, retreated to his vehicle when the boy magically reappeared?
Who is listening to these stories and are they at least older than Trayvon Martin was? This is worse than an amateur operation and comes off as racist, too, because it takes more than foolery to let this kind of stuff slide.
Not only does it take a level of naivety and suspect intelligence to buy this story, but it takes similar views of Zimmerman’s about these up-to-no-good black kids always getting away and how they are suspicious and dangerous.
That’s the tragedy that lives before and after the life and death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman’s racially charged pursuit of Martin hasn’t been ignored by police as black communities might accuse it of being. Rather, those notions have been cosigned by turning him into the aggressor, when the most reliable source to that information comes from the man with the gun and blood on his hands, not to mention a rather peculiar conversation with the 911 dispatcher leading up to the encounter.
It’s not just the police, either. The media wants you to know that Martin experimented with marijuana and was suspended from school when a bag of residue was found in his possession.
This is what fuels the attempts to legitimize Zimmerman’s stereotype and overzealous pursuit. As if to say, “Well, the kid did try drugs, you know, so it’s not like he was perfect” is enough to justify following him to the point where he felt threatened enough to swing.
Aside from the introspection needed to ask ourselves (no matter our race) what exactly a suspicious person looks like, what could be more critical is asking ourselves what makes us care about these victims.
I’ve heard people ask if the same uproar would occur if the victim was white, which is preposterous because this likely doesn’t happen if the hoodie man is white. Remember, Martin fit the description of the one’s that “always get away.”
Others ask if this is a big story if Zimmerman is framed as Hispanic rather than white, since he is technically both. I can’t wrap my head around how that is relevant to the situation. A man whose last name is Zimmerman, who came off as a benefactor of white privilege while being intimidated by blackness, has committed a sin against not just black people, but the human race entirely.
So, those inquiries are lazy.
What we should be asking is why the police on this case continue to insult the intelligence of the public and the family of the victim.
We also need to know that it’s not open season to harass, fight and kill weed-smoking, hoodie-wearing and Skittles-eating teenagers that walk in the rain and “fit the description.”