Monday, September 09, 2013

Trayvon, Looking Back

It's been several weeks since the George Zimmerman verdict of "Not Guilty" was handed down. I've invested too much of my time watching testimony both during the trial, and researching testimony after the trial. I've had exhausting arguments on social media and elsewhere on the topic. Now, for some reason I feel compelled to sum up my feelings and opinions on the matter.

First the undisputed facts. George Zimmerman, in the role of a neighborhood watchman, was suspicious of a young black teen walking through his gated community. He took a loaded handgun and followed the teen. He called the police who told him not to leave his car; advice he chose to ignore. He pursued the teen on foot, a scuffle ensued, resulting in Zimmerman sustaining injuries deemed insignificant by the medical examiner. Zimmerman then shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

Days of testimony revealed other circumstances that led the jury to conclude George Zimmerman acted in self defense in the last few seconds or minutes prior to the shooting. The most convincing testimony may have come from Zimmerman's video taped walk-though of the events with investigators the day following the tragic event. That description was George Zimmerman's side of the story. All the first hand evidence was that of George Zimmerman's.  He never took the stand and therefore was not subject to cross examination. The jury never heard the events through Trayvon Martin's eyes.

The difficult burden of proof on the Prosecution, the slanted evidence favoring Zimmerman's side of the story, and the Florida laws as they were presented in the instructions to the jury (including Stand Your Ground), left little opportunity to convict George Zimmerman of murder. 

This statement sums it up pretty accurately (Allen Clifton-Forward Progressive);
 "(Zimmerman's) “not guilty” verdict wasn’t as much a declaration of innocence as it was a decision based upon the specific charges the prosecution sought against him. But it’s indisputable that George Zimmerman stalked, provoked and then killed Trayvon Martin." 
In other words, George Zimmerman got away with murder. Those that choose to defend the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial based on existing laws and how they were applied are a shameful reminder of those that justified racist treatment of minorities (e.g. lynchings, police brutality, segregation) using Jim Crow laws in the South. One has no choice but to accept the not-guilty verdict, but all fair minded people should be outraged at a legal system so terribly tainted by predjudice.

Here is some music, from harpist Brandee Younger, inspired by the tragedy of Trayvon Martin that you may want listen to and meditate on.