First, I want to say that there are few things I want to hear endlessly on 24/7 news than this trial. Except perhaps the other things they cover endlessly, especially about the Kardashians and Beyonce and their babies. So when I refer to this as a trial, I'm not just speaking about the legal proceedings.
This morning on Fox I stumbled over another completely useless discussion about whether it's "fair" to call the law enforcement calls for "no violence" racist or not. Consider for a moment a trial in which the crowd outside were White Floridians, and the defendant was a black self-appointed neighborhood watcher who had done exactly what Zimmerman did, but to a white teenager. Do you think the law enforcement officials would be pleading with that crowd not to become violent?
I doubt they would. The presumption that a crowd of blacks might well turn violent is, yes, racist. Even the arguments that it has happened in the past are hollow. I do not recall hearing law enforcement pleading with white Alabamans not to be violent during the Civil Rights marches. In fact, I find the entire presumption that there will an acquittal racist. The law enforcement office seems to be presuming Zimmerman will get off. If they weren't there would certainly be no call for no violence.
While I have my mind made up, and so do most folks I think, I think the jury will indeed try to follow the law and reach an honorable verdict. I do not see any reason for Zimmerman to be acquitted.
I know that if I were walking through my neighborhood, and a man in a pickup was following me, I would have been exceedingly eager to get home and safe behind a locked a door. But, then I'm a woman, and at any age, a man following me is a threat. I might also have been wise enough at 17, had cell phones existed and I had one, to have terminated my chat with a friend and called 911. However, I'm white, not a black kid in Florida. I also might have hung up on the girl and called my father. Perhaps Tracy Martin was not home.
However, there is one indisputable fact. If Zimmerman had followed the dispatcher's instructions and STAYED IN HIS VEHICLE, Trayvon Martin would be alive today. Zimmerman had no authority to provoke a confrontation. He did not identify himself as a neighborhood watch. He followed a young man he thought was suspicious and under the influence. We have no witnesses claiming that any sort of conversation between the men occurred. A conversation in which Zimmerman could have said to Martin "I'm with the neighborhood watch. We've had some breakins. Where are you going?" To which Martin could have replied, "To my father's house, Tracy Martin, Unit nnn." Had Zimmerman remained in his vehicle, there would have been no physical confrontation. The duration of time between the end of the call Zimmerman made to the police in which he was told not to follow Martin until the gunshot is three minutes and 14 seconds. The following things had to occur in those 194 seconds. The two men had to close the distance between themselves, the pummelling had to occur, the gun had to be drawn and the shot had to be fired. The first patrol car arrived 5 seconds later. FIVE seconds.
First, I have to ask whether Martin should be given the same Stand your Ground defense Zimmerman is claiming. If someone is following you, do you have the right to defend yourself with knuckles if you feel threatened? Second, if you are carrying a gun, would you REALLY feel in fear of your life from someone hitting you? I think I'd holler, really loudly "Stop or I'll shoot." If you know the police are on the way, as Zimmerman did, why don't you holler "The police are coming. You better stop." Are we to believe Zimmerman was so inept that he didn't get in a single punch? Or do we believe that rather than use his words or his hands -- and surely if Martin attacked him with punches, wasn't it clear that Martin had no weapon?
I think Zimmerman behaved irresponsibly, prejudicially, and irrationally. I think he was mad that the situation turned on him, pulled his gun and shot out of cowardice. I think any rational jury will see it the same way. Zimmerman provoked the incident by not staying in his vehicle. Trayvon Martin felt threatened, and indeed he was. By a man who lacked good judgement, which is probably why he didn't make the police force. Trayvon is dead. Zimmerman showed a callous disregard for the life of this young man, and of the law. He is just as guilty of manslatu