The six female jurors that determined that George Zimmerman was not guilty of murder may have created a slippery slope for the residents of Florida and other states with similar self-defense laws.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, pursued the victim, Trayvon Martin, when he thought the teenager was suspiciously walking through his neighborhood. This we know. What happened when he actually confronted Martin, no one will ever know.
The bottom line is Zimmerman started the event by disobeying the requests of the 911 non-emergency dispatcher to stop following Martin. Had he simply remained in his vehicle, none of this would have occurred and Martin would still be alive.
However, instead of waiting for the police to respond, Zimmerman took it upon himself to make sure that the “suspect” didn’t get away.
After an altercation of some sort, Zimmerman shot and killed Martin.
By acquitting him of all charges of murder and manslaughter, the jury is sending a pretty clear message to the residents of Florida. Vigilante justice is okay as long as there are no witnesses.
The fact that someone can initiate a conflict, and then claim self-defense, is a concept that I cannot grasp. Was Martin not entitled to defend himself from a potential predator since Zimmerman never identified himself after chasing the kid both in a car and on foot?
Looking at it from the teenager’s perspective, what is he supposed to think when an adult is following him when he’s done nothing wrong? Is he not reasonable to assume that this guy is after him? Was it not Zimmerman that was acting “suspicious” in the eyes of the unsuspecting teenager?
An issue I have with this case is that if Martin was straddling Zimmerman as he claims, and I don’t think anyone doubts that he was, Zimmerman would not have been able to grab his weapon. So is it possible that Zimmerman already had his firearm out when he encountered Martin? Could Martin have been simply fighting for his life and not “attacking” as Zimmerman claims?
The problem is no one but Zimmerman will ever know because he eliminated the only other witness.
Florida residents now have an open invitation to initiate conflicts that lead to murder with no repercussions, as long as the victim doesn’t make it to court.
It’s a very slippery slope that has been created by this verdict. While I think the protests and calls for civil rights actions may be a bit exaggerated, I can’t blame a black person living in Florida for over-reacting because it was proven quite clearly that even if you are doing nothing wrong you can be profiled and targeted and the justice system will not have your back.
A young man, who may not have been a perfect citizen before the incident, was doing NOTHING wrong the night he lost his life at the hands of the horrible assumptions and decisions of a want-to-be cop out for vigilante justice.