Okay, it’s been enough time and I’ve calmed down enough to be able to write about the Zimmerman acquittal. For those of our friends overseas, this is the case where a white guy, George Zimmerman, was charged with 2nd Degree Murder in the State of Florida for the death of an African American teenager, Trayvon Martin. Basically Zimmerman saw Trayvon walking late at night in a predominantly white neighborhood. Zimmerman called the police and the dispatcher told him to NOT follow and NOT confront Trayvon. He followed Trayvon anyway. Zimmerman confronted him and they began fighting. Trayvon started to whoop his ass so Zimmerman pulled out his gun and killed Trayvon.
Zimmerman was acquitted because he used the “Stand Your Ground ” defense also known as the “Castle Doctrine”. A FL law that says a person does not have to retreat or evade an attacker. It’s usually used for people who are in their homes and confronted by someone breaking in, hence the homeowner would be defending his ‘castle’. States that have these laws are also called the “Stand and fight” states versus those who don’t, the “Retreat” states that say if you have the option to retreat you have a duty to evade and leave the scene. These “stand and fight” laws are not typically used for a wannabe cop who picks a fight he shouldn’t have out on the street. See Trayvon wasn’t breaking any laws. He was on his way home from a convenience store. He had ice tea and bag of Skittles in his hand. Zimmerman was just a fat loser who violated a direct order from the police dispatcher as well as the most important tenet of a neighborhood watch which is to not confront and to not follow the suspect.
I guess John Oliver of The Daily Show said it best, “…what makes this so much worse — that we could get a verdict like this, not because the system is broken down, but because the system worked exactly as it’s designed”. 31 states have “Stand Your Ground” laws now and several more have considered or are currently considering it. This verdict made me sick to my stomach. It was never safe to be brown in America but I think it got a whole lot more dangerous. Apparently a man’s castle now extends to the sidewalks of suburban America.