Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ho-Hum: Another Day, Another Black Boy Murdered

Trayvon Martin was shot at point blank range by a
white guy who said he felt "threatened" by the 17-year old
Ugh, here we go again. There's another case of an unarmed Black male being shot dead by a non-Black person (what a shocker, it's a white guy!). The twist in this case is that the Black male was carrying an ice tea and a bag of Skittles while the shooter is 28-years-old and not a cop, but a "neighborhood watch" vigilante with a 9mm gun.

Charles Blow of the New York Times recounts the facts of the case:
Trayvon had left the house he and his father were visiting to walk to the local 7-Eleven. On his way back, he caught the attention of George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood watch captain, who was in a sport-utility vehicle. Zimmerman called the police because the boy looked “real suspicious,” according to a 911 call released late Friday. The operator told Zimmerman that officers were being dispatched and not to pursue the boy. 
Zimmerman apparently pursued him anyway, at some point getting out of his car and confronting the boy. Trayvon had a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. Zimmerman had a 9 millimeter handgun.The two allegedly engaged in a physical altercation. There was yelling, and then a gunshot. 
When police arrived, Trayvon was face down in the grass with a fatal bullet wound to the chest. Zimmerman was standing with blood on his face and the back of his head and grass stains on his back, according to The Orlando Sentinel. 
Trayvon’s lifeless body was taken away, tagged and held. Zimmerman was taken into custody, questioned and released. Zimmerman said he was the one yelling for help. He said that he acted in self-defense. The police say that they have found no evidence to dispute Zimmerman’s claim.
 Zimmerman has not been charged with any crime more than 3 weeks after the incident. Of course this raises several questions in the head of most observers. Blow goes on to list just a few:
Why did Zimmerman find Trayvon suspicious? Why did he pursue the boy when the 911 operator instructed him not to? Why did he get out of the car, and why did he take his gun when he did? How is it self-defense when you are the one in pursuit? Who initiated the altercation? Who cried for help? Did Trayvon’s body show evidence of a struggle? What moved Zimmerman to use lethal force?
Another columnist, Leonard Pitts, Jr. writing in the Houston Chronicle lists some more questions:
How can you get out of your truck against police advice, instigate a fight, get your nose bloodied in said fight, shoot the person you were fighting with, and claim self-defense? If anyone was defending themselves, wasn't it Trayvon Martin? Would police have been so forbearing had Martin confronted and killed an unarmed George Zimmerman? 
Is this really a racial Rohrschach test? Do white people and black people see this case differently? If you wonder why Black people don't trust in "justice" in America, the names Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant and nowTrayvon Martin are just a few of the reasons.


Rick Diehl said...

What happened to this kid was a crime, and the way the local authorities are reacting to it is an even bigger crime.

I'm white, but I'm not blind, and I just hope that I'm not alone.

Bryan J Blumberg said...

Politics Nation with Al Sharpton on MSNBC -- on now at 3:00 PM Monday March 19 2012 -- is leading with this story. They're playing the 911 tapes and will be interviewing the boy's parents.


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