The real issue surrounding the Trayvon Martin case has been obfuscated by those who are convinced that this trial erupted out of something other than what it really did. Many are blaming that catch-all villain, “the media” for what some believe to be a routine murder (yes, we apparently have those) having been brought to national attention. Their memories and/or ability to think logically are apparently lacking.
This episode did not start with some local reporters looking for a news story with a racial tinge. This was not some black racist organization’s attempt at “’stirring the pot” once again with a made-up race-card event.
The reason this story is in the news is the fact that the chief of police in Sanford Florida, a city well-known for its racial intolerance, elected to let a shooter go free, and hoped no one would notice.
George Zimmerman, after being detained and questioned following the shooting of Trayvon Martin, was released, with no charges against him. Bill Lee, the Sanford police chief at the time, says that he did so due to a lack of evidence against George Zimmerman. Apparently a dead body and a smoking Kel Tec 9 is not enough evidence to arrest someone in Sanford, Florida.
Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, found out his son was dead when he went to the police department to file a missing person’s report. When he asked for the details of the event, he was informed that no charges have been filed against the shooter. His protests and demand to see the mayor went unanswered. He was told that the police chief made his decision based on his understanding of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
Tracy Martin and his ex-wife, Sabrina Fulton, hired a Tallahassee attorney, Ben Crump, who then proceeded to file complaints with the state Attorney General’s office, contact the media and set up on online petition to have Zimmerman arrested and brought to trial. Al Sharpton and other black leaders converged on Sanford, protesting and demanding only two things-arrest and trial. Nothing more.
To those of you who think that this is simply a “black thing”, of no real importance other than to those who use race as a weapon, you must realize that this media storm was caused by one event: A mother and father learning that their child had been gunned down, and the local police deciding, with no trial, that the shooter could just go home and forget the entire thing. It is Tracy Martin’s and Sabrina Fulton’s love for their teenaged son, and their refusal to accept his death with no explanation that is causing this firestorm, as it should have.
Whether George Zimmerman acted within his rights that night will be decided by a jury, again, as it should. Whatever their decision is, we will have to accept it, irrespective of whether or not we agree. But that’s all Trayvon’s parents wanted. It was their unwillingness to go away quietly that made it happen.
No matter what the outcome, every parent should be inspired by the willingness of Tracy Martin and Sabrina Fulton to invert every aspect of their lives to ensure that their boy gets justice. They have missed months of work, their income has dropped to near zero, and they have lived with death threats for over a year, to say nothing of having to relive the pain of the loss of their son by listening to a recording of his last seconds on earth, over and over.
Now, some will say that George Zimmerman’s life has not been a picnic either, and they’d be right. The difference is that George Zimmerman made a series of decisions that night for which he must answer. It was his actions that set this entire opera in motion.
Add to this the fact that Bill Lee admitted on the witness stand yesterday, in a teary-eyed confession, that George Zimmerman was HIS BEST FRIEND! The chief of police in the town where this occurred, the one who released George Zimmerman with no charges, cried over the fact that his friend was on trial for murder, yet apparently had no tears for the dead kid…
And some of you have the nerve to suggest that is was stirred up by attention getting news hounds?
Trayvon’s parents pulled no triggers. They attended no police training classes. They did not appoint themselves as neighborhood watch patrol. They didn’t study Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws in a college law enforcement course (Zimmerman got an A in that class.) They, and their son, had no control over what was to transpire that rainy night in February of 2012.
They were simply sitting at home watching TV when their son was taken from them, and they had the nerve to demand to know why.
I can only hope that my parents would have done the same for me.