Monday, June 10, 2013

George Zimmerman Trial Begins TODAY

George Zimmerman admits to shooting and killing Trayvon Martin,
an unarmed Black teenager
Finally! More than a year after the news about the fatal shooting of another unarmed Black male became a huge sensation, the trial of Trayvon Martin's killer is beginning in a Florida courtroom today. George Zimmerman, 29, claims he shot and killed the 17-year-old in self-defense. The story became an international story when police authorities in Sanford, FL questioned but released Zimmerman after hearing his story, raising questions about how police in a Southern state consider and (de)value the life of Black person. After weeks of marches and protests in multiple American cities, Zimmerman was finally arrested an charged with a crime (second-degree murder).

According to CNN:
Monday marks the start of jury selection in Seminole County, Florida, where Martin was fatally shot on February 26, 2012. The shooting put a national spotlight on Zimmerman's hometown of Sanford and sparked fresh debates about race relations and gun laws in America.  
Zimmerman is Hispanic; Martin was African-American. 
An initial decision not to pursue charges against Zimmerman led to the dismissal of the town's police chief and the appointment of a special prosecutor, who accused the neighborhood watch volunteer of unjustly profiling and killing Martin. 
Zimmerman now faces a second-degree murder charge in Martin's death. He has pleaded not guilty and is currently free on $1 million bond.
The Zimmerman-Martin case became another Rorshach test on race in America. We (at shall be watching to see if the criminal justice system (in Florida, no less) can pass the test of "equal treatment under the law."

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