Let’s not talk about race. Let’s imagine for a moment, that all of the characters in this play are grey, or mauve, or chartreuse, and let’s talk about justice.
A man on neighborhood patrol spots a teenager walking through a gated community. He calls the police, who tell him they are on the way and not to follow him. His response, as he ignores law enforcement: “these assholes always get away.”
He follows the youth. He gets out of his car. Loud confrontation ensues, loud enough for neighbors to call 911. The (now released) 911 tapes reveal a boy pleading for his life, followed by gunfire.
A child dies. This is a tragedy.
Police arrive, and discover the man they told not to follow this child, has killed him. No arrest is made, as police later claim his record is “squeaky clean.” It is later discovered he had a criminal record and a history of aggressive behavior. The shooter–who outweighed the child by 100 pounds–was carrying a licensed handgun. He claims self-defense. The child was carrying a bag of Skittles and an iced-tea. When questioned, the police say they lack “probable cause” to warrant an arrest.
Probable cause can be defined as “a reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime.” The shooter remains free, and the child remains dead.
This is a grave injustice.
In a free society it is our greatest responsibility to protect our children. The faith we place in those entrusted to enforce law asks that the application be universal, even if this means they implicate themselves.
Listen to the 911 calls. And ask yourself: if this was your child, would you feel justice has been served?
Read Sanford Chief of Police Lee’s letter to GMP’s Senior Editor, Justin Cascio, regarding the death of Trayvon Martin.
Image: orlando sentinel