I figured more information would come out about the death in Florida of Trayvon Martin, shot by a self-assumed neighborhood watchman on the way to his dad’s house, and it has. This just gets more infuriating by the second:
- The shooter, George Zimmerman, aspired to be a cop & regularly made calls about “suspicious activity” in the neighborhood (one of those gated communities…), 50 times in the past year alone. Even if a couple calls resulted in an arrest being made, doesn’t that sound like a LOT of suspicion to have in such an area? If this rate of suspicion is even remotely warranted, then frankly I’d say that’s one messed-up neighborhood, gate or no gate. If not, then I suspect something myself: that George was the type who would’ve eventually called the cops about monsters under his bed.
- Zimmerman, as recorded on his police call, claimed that Martin was staring at the houses in the area. Simultaneously, Martin was actually on his cell phone — remarking about the strange man following him in an SUV to his girlfriend. Hands-free earpieces for cell phones have existed long enough that “he’s crazy” wouldn’t be the guaranteed first assumption these days, especially when seeing a kid appear to be kind of mumbling from a distance. Yet what did Zimmerman say? “He’s on drugs or something, something’s wrong with him”
- The shooter says he sees something in the victim’s hand. I’m not sure how far away he was, but I have a hard time imagining a bag of skittles & an iced tea (what Trayvon in fact had on him) at any distance where you could make out them being held looking like any form of weapon. Even if he’d had one of those big cans of the tea, most someone could rationally suspect would be if they mistook it for a beer can and thought they were drinking in public. Last I checked, people weren’t executed for open container violations.
- George’s comments before hopping out after Trayvon Martin, in contradiction of what the dispatcher said and of what is standard procedure for Neighborhood Watch (which he was in fact not a member of): “Shit, he’s running! These assholes always get away!”. Questions: what does he mean by “these assholes”? Young people? George is 28 and was in a car. Alleged criminals in general? He helped stop one himself before! Where the hell is this attitude coming from?
- Go back to that recording of Trayvon Martin talking to his girlfriend. At the moment of confrontation, initiated by Zimmerman, he outright asks why he’s being followed! That should’ve been a tipoff that he may not be there with shady intentions (think: if you’re there to case the joint, why ask? Shit, why even speak, just run or fight). Instead, George demands to know why he’s there at all, and it escalates from there.
- George claimed self-defense. Multiple people calling 911 after hearing the shot that killed Trayvon reported seeing him on top. On what planet do you have to defend yourself with a firearm from someone on their back?
What this is all telling me is that George Zimmerman is a quivering ball of irrational fear who killed a kid because he has the critical thinking skills of a gnat. This is as much “self-defense” as a fucking drone strike.
Now, there are racial implications as far as how quickly the cops bought Zimmerman’s story. Also, the class question of just WTF is behind the ironic increased fear on the part of gated community residents begs to be considered: after all, what’s the point of the gate and everything if you’re still that scared regardless, and is the crime in those areas even remotely close to worth the hassle? What are they afraid of? However, to my view of the incident itself, the primary catalyst is paranoia.
Inevitably, here comes the politically motivated ridiculousness…
Mainstream Left: “Blahblah Koch Brothers Blah! BTW: people don’t trust gubmint & Officer Friendly enough…” As if all the people who did nothing wrong who were assaulted by actual police don’t count anymore or something.
Right-wingers: “The kid was the aggressor, dammit! First they’re getting suspended, next thing y’know they make knives with melted plastic! SHAAAAAARPTON!!!” So we’re whacking non straight-A students in the streets now?