When my husband brought this tragic story to my attention last Sunday, I dreaded reading the article because it was a stark reminder of how unblind justice is in a country with a tattered history of racism trumping logic. It’s retarded the country (no, the world) for far too long.
Being a San Francisco native and growing up during a time when police insensitivity and aggression towards urban folk was par for the course, I have a heightened awareness of social justice and immediately posted a link on my Facebook page so that friends and family were aware of the case because it smacked of injustice.
After hearing the 911 tapes recently released, I was compelled to post a brief commentary to add one more voice to the chant, “why is Zimmerman not in jail?”
On February 26, George Zimmerman, a 28 year-old neighborhood watch captain patrolling the grounds of a gated community in Sanford, FL called 911 to report a suspicious looking black man, 17 year-old Trayvon Martin, walking in a predominantly white neighborhood. After being told by police they were on the way and to not approach the young man, Zimmerman proceeded to murder, in cold blood, Martin (armed with only a bag of skittles and iced tea).
Martin was the victim of one of the worst kinds of human specimens – an overzealous bigot who had been called aggressive in earlier complaints to the local police and charged with violence against a police officer.
After confessing to the murder, rather than being taken into custody, Zimmerman was released because, according to the Sanford Police Department “they respected [Zimmerman’s] background, that he studied criminal justice for four years and that he was squeaky clean.” During a subsequent press conference, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee further went on to say that Zimmerman was not arrested because his claim of self-defense was under investigation and “by statute, if someone makes a statement of self defense, unless we have cause to dispute that, we can not make an arrest.” As of the writing of this post, as you might guess, Zimmerman has presumably left his residence, disconnected his phone, and cannot be found.
If, like me, after reading the series of events you’re baffled by the insurmountable lack of judgement made, not only by Zimmerman, but by the Sanford Police Department, you’re not alone.
The FBI, U.S. Rep Corinne Brown, Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett, and a growing number of supporters, including college students, civil rights advocate Rev. Al Sharpton, and at least three petitions on change.org, are building a steady stream of commentary and attention to this case to ensure justice is served.
What do you think? Is Lady Justice’s blindfold on or off in this case?
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