Wednesday, June 27, 2012

No More Doubt in the Martin/Zimmerman Conflict, Please?


W
ho was at fault in the Trayvon Martin death? This debate is still going strong all over the United States and various countries throughout the world, and it shouldn’t even be a debate to begin with. Among many critical details and all of the things both parties in the case meticulously focus on in this entire situation, are a few very common-sense facts which should open-and-shut this entire case right away. These few details make it impossible for me to even begin to blame Trayvon Martin at all. But before we even get into the details of the facts I’d like to address, a few details I’ve seen upset me more with humanity than a lot of the things to do with this case.

Trayvon Martin’s history with marijuana isn’t criminalizing. He enjoyed smoking weed. Estimates are that over 83 million Americans over age 12 smoke or have smoked marijuana. These same annual reports have found that over 50% of grade-12 students in the United States have smoked weed, and 40% are current users (within the past month of taking a survey). Marijuana is the most used illegal drug in the United States. Trayvon Martin isn’t in a small crowd. And marijuana doesn’t make a person more aggressive. Marijuana doesn’t make people attack others. Marijuana doesn’t make people beat the living hell out of someone for nothing. If anything, the only fact about marijuana that would stand out is that marijuana (if Trayvon got high before going to the store) would have limited Martin’s reaction time in the situation.

A hoody doesn’t make you a criminal, Geraldo Rivera. I’ve never been to Florida, but I’ve lived in Louisiana, and I know that there were evenings in July where I needed a jacket, and I’m from Maryland, so I’m accustomed to cooler weather than the American South offers. Even Zimmerman was wearing a jacket, so why does a kid in a hoody become portrayed as a villainous criminal?

One fact stands out above all else that proves Martin’s innocence, and it’s the story every member of Zimmerman’s family has told, and it’s the story that the 911 operator can offer. George Zimmerman called the police, told the operator he lost Martin, and the operator told him to stay in his car and wait for the police to arrive. Nobody, community watch or civilian, is supposed to pursue someone that they believe is a criminal. And if Zimmerman feared for his life like his brother claims (on record saying “George was worried, so he cautiously peaked around the corner of a house and Martin jumped out and attacked him”) he wouldn’t have pursued. In fact, that account right there tells me all that I need to know about Martin. He was a poor kid terrified that some old lunatic or pervert was following him, and he hid, in the night, behind the corner of someone’s house terrified about what was going to happen.

If I can intervene from the story for a moment, I’d just like to go on record now as saying that my children will be armed wherever they go in this world, and they will be told that unless they’re being called out for by a police officer who can provide a badge, that they are to protect themselves with murder if they’ve got to. I’d rather my children be wrong in guessing that a person is trying to harm them, and being alive and well, than they be attacked, raped, or murdered.

As I was saying, Martin was terrified. Some old man was yelling out of his car for him to stop, and he did what anyone should teach their child to do, ignore them and be cautious of their next move. Martin ignored Zimmerman, hid, and was approached… the kid saw Zimmerman peak around the corner for him, and for all he knew, he was about to be attacked, raped, and/or murdered. So he fought to defend himself. And here’s where details get sketchy again… because the only story we really have is Zimmerman’s and a “witness” report.

Martin was seen on top of Zimmerman pounding him, beating his head into the ground, punching him repeatedly in the face, and smothering him. Zimmerman’s story is all about beating his head into the ground and smothering him, and Zimmerman insists he was screaming “HELP!” with all of his energy before resorting to pulling his gun and shooting Martin in the chest. Zimmerman even says, “He was crushing my nose trying to smother me, covering my mouth. I couldn’t breathe, I was beginning to pass out, I yelled ‘HELP!’ and grabbed for my gun and I had to shoot him to save myself.” If Martin’s hands, with all of his weight, were pressed against Zimmerman’s nose and covering his mouth, George wasn’t going to yell “HELP!” Damn sure not as clear and loud as it came out in the 911 call.

Photos of Zimmerman taken at the police station indicate that Martin did indeed beat Zimmerman. But I’m more of the belief that Zimmerman pulled the gun, Martin saw and yelled for help, and was shot to death. Did Zimmerman pursue Martin with the INTENT to shoot him? I don’t know. Did he pursue him against law enforcement command? Yes. Should he have stayed in his car? Absolutely. Martin reacted in self-defense by every logical term in the book. Could Martin have swung first? Of course. Does that make him the aggressor? No. Zimmerman was the aggressor the moment he exited his vehicle and pursued Martin on foot. At the end of the day, Zimmerman made a stupid decision, did not cooperate with law enforcement, and a young boy is dead because of it.

There’s no way Zimmerman deserves defense from anyone in this country, or world. If it’s not apparent to you that Zimmerman is guilty, I feel sorry for what went wrong in your upbringing. And if Zimmerman is found not guilty in one or both trials (as the FBI have now begun examining this as a hate crime), I hope the only trial that matters, before God upon judgment by the only who can judge, sees Zimmerman find the punishment he deserves.

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