Illustrations depicting the slain teenager
are appearing on abandoned buildings in Baltimore
Editorial Rant: I feature an editorial from the local paper & respond.
It was Martin who stood his ground
Some say George Zimmerman will get off for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Don’t believe it.
Florida’s “Justifiable Use of Force” statute states: “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” That was what Martin was doing. Zimmerman was following him, paused to call the police, then, despite the police admonition not to continue his pursuit, looked for him again. Words were exchanged.
Martin felt threatened and beat Zimmerman down. Zimmerman pulled his handgun and shot Martin dead. Zimmerman appears to have been stalking Martin, a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida law.
So Zimmerman had no right to use defensive force to aid his misdemeanor. He should’ve said “You’re right, I’m sorry, you have a right to be here.” Instead, he pulled his gun on a man who was defending his right to be in a public place and killed him.
Zimmerman was the initiator of contact, the antagonist, and without his misdemeanor action, none of it would have taken place. Nothing about the “Justifiable Use of Force” statute supports Zimmerman. It supports Martin’s actions.
A MINOR correction
Phil Alderman's 4/4 editorial about Trayvon Martin having the right to Stand his ground was
excellent -with one correction:
"So Zimmerman had no right to use defensive force to aid his misdemeanor. He should’ve said “You’re right, I’m sorry, you have a right to be here.” Instead, he pulled his gun on a man who was defending his right to be in a public place and killed him."
The correction: Trayvon Martin was a 17 year old minor child. If only Zimmerman were not armed with a lethal weapon, or if he had listened to the
9-1-1 operator who told Zimmerman to not follow/chase him, Trayvon, would still be alive today.
9-1-1 Dispacher: How old would you say he looks?
Zimmerman: late teens
Dispatcher; Are you following him?
Dispacher: Ok, we don’t need you to do that.
Trayvon is "everyone's chid", and this rogue killing, then playing the victim card as Zimmerman is trying to do, is both unacceptable and unconscionable.
As lawyer Lauren Regan stated at the 4/2 Eugene rally, "these “stand your ground’ laws allow anyone with a gun be a judge, jury, and executioner".
Trayvon Martin committed no crime and had every right to walk in the "land of the free". A crime of murder was committed, and justice needs to be served.
We can not allow innocent, unarmed children to be gunned down in the streets- not because of racial profiling, fear & prejudice. In fact I can't think of any good reason. If the Stand your ground/Castle Doctrine laws allow for this kind of senseless slaughter, then those laws have got to go.