Sunday, March 25, 2012

We Have All Been Trayvon Martin

Author D T Pollard

Imagine you are visiting someone and staying with them for a few days at their home. You decide to walk to the store around the corner and buy some snacks to enjoy while watching a sporting event that was coming on television later that night. It happens to be a rainy day and you pull the hood of the top you are wearing over your head to stay dry and then you notice someone you didn’t know is following you.

You quicken your pace to try and get to the house you are living at for the time you are visiting. This stranger that is following you is closing in and you turn to find out what he wants. Somewhere after this moment a teenager named Trayvon Martin was gunned down by a man named George Zimmerman, who was a “self-appointed” neighborhood watch captain. Zimmerman had no official police authority. Zimmerman was told by the 911 operator not to follow Trayvon and he did so anyway. Zimmerman’s neighborhood watch group was not registered with a national neighborhood watch group. George Zimmerman was really a strange adult male who weighed over 200 pounds chasing after a teenager.

What would you do if faced with a stranger chasing you down and you finally turn to see what this person wants? Are you compelled to answer any question from this strange man? What give this guy the right to stop, detain or interrogate you, who is he and what does he want. Zimmerman claimed self defense as the reason he shot Trayvon with his 9 mm pistol. Hold on a minute, is Zimmerman the only one with the right to defend himself, what about the person that was confronted by a total stranger pursuing him?

Florida and other states have a Stand Your Ground law. It seems that this law is like the wild west in that the person with the quicker draw and most lethal weapon has the ability to go out and start a fight and use deadly force if he is losing, claim self defense and walk away free.

For those of you splitting hairs on why Zimmerman was not arrested, here is the reality. We are and have all been Trayvon Martin. Every time you have left you home and gone somewhere else, you could have been confronted by someone like George Zimmerman, defended yourself and ended up dead because “he” was defending himself under a statute like Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

Do you know everyone that visits every home in your neighborhood? Suppose someone goes for a walk or a run, do you have the right to follow them and ask them to justify why they are there? Do they have to answer you? Do you have the right to shoot them because you don’t know who they are? Now I see, clarity is setting in here. Trayvon Martin was a person visiting with someone for a few days and staying at the home of one of George Zimmerman’s neighbors and he ended up dead because Zimmerman did not know who he was. Guess what, George Zimmerman didn’t have a right to know who Trayvon Martin was and Trayvon Martin should not have been killed because he was visiting some else’s home for a few days. In that sense we have all been Trayvon Martin.

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