George Zimmerman sits in Seminole circuit court during his trial in Sanford, Fla. Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Gary W. Green, Pool)
More than 60 unarmed people of color have been killed by police or authority figures who have gone unpunished since 1999.
George Zimmerman, former neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Florida, who shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012, will not face any federal civil rights charges.
I can only image how wearying it must be for Martin’s family to accept this verdict so close to the anniversary of his death.
Zimmerman claimed innocence to the “Stand Your Ground” law, which removes the duty to retreat before using force in self-defense.
Martin was holding an Arizona Iced Tea and a bag of Skittles in his hands, preparing to head to a basketball game with his younger cousin. These two objects couldn’t have posed a threat to Zimmerman.
There are accusations that Zimmerman was attacked by Martin, although a medical examiner referred to the wounds found on Zimmerman’s head as “insignificant.”
Defense lawyers for Zimmerman have defended his case by revealing texts between Martin and a friend that involve references to marijuana and purchasing a gun. Martin also received school suspensions months prior to the shooting.
Regardless of Martin’s background, he did not have a weapon on his person at the time of his murder.
Zimmerman was working on a degree in criminal justice at the time, and I believe he could’ve handled the situation a lot better.
As with several other similar legal circumstances in the past, the court took more than enough time deciding Zimmerman’s punishment, or lack there of I should say.
Attorney Mark O’Mara, who represented Zimmerman during his trial in Florida, told the Post, “I was watching the whole case pretty closely for two years, and they didn’t do anything except take those 40 statements.”
“To those who have seen civil rights investigations and civil rights violations, it looked as though the Department of Justice was just placating pressure that existed by suggesting there was an ongoing investigation,” O’Mara said.
I’m not on the bandwagon that all white police officers are racists, but I am aware that racism still exists and there are a lot of police officers who abuse their authority.
I also don’t believe it’s a coincidence that most murders involving a non-black police officer killing an unarmed black citizen result in the officer walking free.
Dante Parker who was innocently riding his bike, was tasered to death by police officers who received a call that a black male fled from an attempted break-in on a bike; or Ruban Brisbon, an unarmed father of four who was killed when police mistook his bottle of pills for a gun are just a few recent cases.
More popular cases such as the murder of unarmed Ferguson, Missouri, teenager Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson who was found innocent over three months after the shooting.
It shouldn’t take a jury 114 days to decide whether they feel an officer who fired at an unarmed suspect 12 times, hitting that suspect 7 times, should be punished or not.
The lack of punishment served for the murders of unarmed minorities in America has been ongoing for centuries. The time to end this madness is well overdue.