The Million Hoodie March

Posted on Wednesday 21 March 2012

It is a sad thing that the Million Hoodie March is necessary. The march is a protest to raise awareness of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year old black latino youth. He was killed by an older white man, George Zimmerman, who was captain of the local neighborhood watch.

The basic facts of the story are that Trayvon Martin—who was dressed in a hoodie-type sweatshirt—was buying snacks at a convenience store when he was profiled by Zimmerman. Zimmerman later stalked and then shot and killed Martin, allegedly in self-defense. The local authorities have avoided arresting Zimmerman because of his claims of self-defense and a very liberal self-defense law that exists in Florida.

However, witnesses and 911 calls all seem to contradict Mr. Zimmerman’s claims of self-defense and the events in question. Zimmerman called police and told them about a suspicious individual and was told, very specifically, that he should not confront said individual. Yet, Zimmerman stalked, confronted and then shot and killed the unarmed teen.

If the roles had been reversed and teen had been white and Zimmerman had been an African American—I seriously doubt that the gunman would still be free, regardless of any claims of self-defense or not.

I do not see how the authorities can justify not arresting Zimmerman—when it is pretty clear from witnesses and 911 calls that he was the aggressor.

Zimmerman profiled Trayvon as a suspicious person—most likely based on his ethnicity. He then stalked Trayvon Martin, even though the police told him not to confront the “suspicious” individual. From the conversation overheard by Trayvon’s friend—it is pretty clear that Zimmerman followed and then confronted Trayvon Martin and the end result was a dead 17-year-old unarmed youth.

Given Martin’s attempts to avoid any confrontation and his obvious fear at being followed—how do the local authorities justify Zimmerman’s claims of self-defense realistically. Martin was unarmed. It is pretty likely that he was smaller than Zimmerman, given his youth. He was pretty clearly trying to avoid any confrontation with Zimmerman—who had to chase Martin down. Exactly how was Trayvon being a threat.

It will be interesting to see if justice actually prevails in Trayvon Martin’s case. Zimmerman should have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder. He should also be charged with a hate crime.

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