On Trayvon Martin

The Million Hoodie March in protest of the death of Trayvon Martin was today, so it’s a good opportunity to reflect on the injustice of his death.

The details of Trayvon’s death are simple: Trayvon Martin, carrying Skittles and an ice tea for his little brother, walked to his father’s house in a suburban Florida neighborhood. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, thought he was suspicious and called 911; the dispatcher told him that police were coming and not to pursue. Martin was found, unresponsive and unarmed. Zimmerman, claiming that he was defending himself against an unarmed teenager with his semiautomatic handgun, has not been charged with a crime.


Picture from the Million Hoodie March: a young black boy with a sign that says “Am I Next?”

This is the sort of world we live in. The kind of world in which a kid, a seventeen-year-old kid, a good student, someone who is planning on going to college and becoming an aviation mechanic, can be shot and killed for going to buy candy at a 7-11.

Why?

Because he’s black. Because a black boy walking alone isn’t just a kid out to get candy. He’s “suspicious.” He’s “up to no good.” He’s “on drugs.” He’s a “young black man who appears to be an outsider,” whom are definitely the sort of people we have to be on the lookout for, because we know that all black men are criminals. Clearly.

I grew up in Florida too; I know people who went to Trayvon’s high school. But I can go buy candy without fearing for my life, simply because of the color of my skin. You want privilege? That’s privilege. The sure knowledge that I’m not taking my life into my hands by walking outside. That should not be something that I should feel lucky for. That should not be fucking special.

Sean Hannity wants to know if the Trayvon Martin killing was just a “horrible accident.” NO. Trayvon was not asking to be murdered by his refusal to cooperate; even if Zimmerman were a police officer, he shouldn’t have killed Trayvon for simple refusal to cooperate, but he wasn’t a fucking police officer. If you see a strange person following you, and it turns out he has a gun, guess what? You’re going to not answer their questions, and you’re going to run the fuck away. That is normal human person behavior. That is not a fucking death-penalty offense.

The death of Trayvon Martin is only the most extreme example of the endless oppression of black men within the American criminal justice system. From stop and frisk to driving while black, from mall security guards that assume that black boys are thieves to the prison-industrial complex, black men are endlessly assumed to be criminals, to be drug addicts, to be violent, simply because of their skin color.

And when racism comes to its natural conclusion and ends in the death of an innocent black boy… well. The police are automatically biased in favor of the non-black shooter instead of the black corpse. Witnesses reported that the police were biased in favor of Zimmerman; the police assume that it was self-defense. Dude, in America we have these things called “trials.” If it were truly self-defense, then Zimmerman can present the evidence about such in his trial. Since there are tons of questions about whether “a high school student with no criminal record decides to attack a dude for no reason” is more plausible than “a racist fuckhead assumes a black boy is criminal,” you can let the jury decide. That is what they are for.

But, man, it’s just a black kid. Who cares when a black boy dies?

Not racist America. Black men are ultimately disposable. Black men don’t deserve safety, or security, or justice. As a culture, we don’t care about black men. But, as radical as it may seem to racist fuckheads like Zimmerman and his defenders, black men are human beings. The security of white people from the imaginary threat of young black men who are outsiders is trumped by the security of black people from actual people with actual guns actually attempting to murder them.

That phrase “young black men who are outsiders,” which Zimmerman apparently used as a Neighborhood Watch leader to describe the sort of people good (read: white) people ought to watch out for, is striking to me. Because in our society black men are, all too often, outsiders. They are the racialized Other. They don’t have the same basic human rights– to, for instance, not be murdered. Forever a threat, forever suspicious, forever a suspect, continually having to prove that they are not criminals just because of their melanin content.

Right now, across the country, millions of black parents are tucking their sons in and wondering if their child is next. Right now, black parents are sitting their sons down to tell them how to interact with police and with men with guns, and that if they do anything that even begins to look like they might attack they risk finding themselves dead.

Fuck. That. Shit.

About ozyfrantz

Ozy Frantz is a student at a well-respected Hippie College in the United States. Zie bases most of zir life decisions on Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and identifies more closely with Pinkie Pie than is probably necessary. Ozy can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter as @ozyfrantz. Writing is presently Ozy's primary means of support, so to tip the blogger, click here.

Comments

  1. bttf4444 says:

    This is just too sad that this happened. I hope that charges get successfully pressed against George Zimmerman, who should actually be in jail!

  2. Ozy, my heart weeps for this poor boy and his family. There are no words for the anger, sadness, and helplessness I am feeling. This goes beyond men’s rights and lives squarely in the human right’s neighbourhood – like you said, the right not to be murdered.

  3. Two things:
    One: I hope an actual investigation is done here. This death is hyper-suspicious. From what I’ve read in the news, the police pretty horribly mangled it. Hopefully it wasn’t mangled too badly, witnesses can still report the facts, and we can still get justice.

    Two: The attitude of “let the jury decide”. Yeah, no. That isn’t good. If the police/prosecutor/judge think someone is innocent, they shouldn’t put it to a jury. It should only go to a jury if the police/prosecutor actually believe the accused did it. Oh sure, it sounds great when someone you think is a bad guy is walking free, but when the police are knocking on your door saying: “We think you’re innocent, but there are some questions as to if your blog attacking the [president/mayor/police department] constitute a death threat or not, so where going to let a jury decide.”, its not exactly the best thing in the world. Especially the 13th time after you’ve spent all your money on legal fees and no longer a have the cash for bail.

    So no we don’t just let a jury decide. There is a reason we have requirements like “probable cause” for arrests, and we require a standard of evidence to bring a prosecution in America. We have all these things for a reason. Now yes, once again I don’t think the police have done there job properly. However that does not mean the answer is “let the jury decide”. It means the police need to do their damn jobs.

  4. I can’t comment coherently in these true life situation posts. My comments get too long and bitter. Specifcally, this time, I know Florida doesn’t own the racism market, but I just really seethe about this state sometimes. I think I’ll leave it at that.

  5. For those who would like to keep up on the case, I really recommend reading Trymaine Lee’s work at HuffPo: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/trymaine-lee and Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/ta-nehisi-coates/

    Anyway, the facts we know so far are simply horrifying. It seems to me that in claiming he was trying to defend himself, Zimmerman’s family is completely ignoring that Martin also had a right to self-defense if he was being stalked by Zimmerman. I know I would’ve felt threatened in Martin’s shoes. There is a good chance I would’ve tried to defend myself physically once Zimmerman got out of the car.

  6. dancinbojangles says:

    @Jay Generally: My thoughts exactly. I just cannot think about this coherently, and trying resulted in a rambling, caterwauling wail. That’s all I can contribute. This whole story made me just sick to my stomach. At least this will hopefully help people admit to and address racism, rather than sweeping it under the rug. And even trying to see a positive in this made me feel like a complete shit person. There is no expressing how sad this is.

  7. There isn’t a word to describe my feelings. How fucked up is this world nowadays?

  8. This is disgusting and heartbreaking and absolutely a symptom of racist America. Though I don’t think Zimmerman wasn’t arrested because of bias of outsiders. I think it’s because there’s a head-up-ass stupid law on the books that he is using to get off on a technicality. I think there’s plenty of people who’d love to nail him who under the idiotic law just aren’t allowed to.

  9. I’m depressed and confused about this for a lot of reasons. I’m ashamed to say this, but part of this is that I could see myself in George Zimmerman. I have felt anxious and clutched at my wallet when I’ve been around Aboriginal people (where I live in Canada, First Nations people are frequently in the underclass, while African-Canadians are a much smaller part of the population).I have also felt this anxiety towards Asian (primarily Filipino) teens. I *have* felt the same anxiety around young white males, but again, it’s an offshoot of prejudice). (Athough it’s clear from the 911 call that Zimmerman was in no way threatened). The main difference between myself and Zimmerman is that I don’t have a gun.

    Guns seem to impart as sense of power on people, but also a sense of righteousness. The law told Zimmerman that he not only had the right to “defend” himself at all costs, but that it was his duty.

    So I’m left with my shame over my prejudices. If you recognize that you’re wrong, but have trouble changing this, are you a bad person?

  10. Good summary–only missing a couple of parts that I know of. Zimmerman said “fucking coons” after he got out of the car, and was chasing the kid. You can hear it on the 911 recording.

    (Note: I’m no authority on trigger warnings, but if anything ever needed one, that tape does.)

    Other thing: Martin died because he was black and male. I kinda hoped you guys would pick up on that last part too, you know? Zimmerman explicitly ranted about black males, and then went out and murdered one.

  11. @monkey, my feeling on that is who cares if it makes you “a bad person” or not. I have noticed a tendency in myself to sometimes talk down to younger people of color, and I simply observe my own actions closely, and keep myself in check, every time I am in that sort of situation. Life is not about our thoughts being pure as the driven snow, it is about being able to analyze and control our negative tendencies in order to not hurt others. I’d add that it also is about learning to identify with “the other” so a good exercise might be to put yourself in Martin’s shoes instead of Zimmerman’s mentally.

    @Motley, yeah I listened to the tapes and I utterly regret it, they are chilling. There is a post on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ blog about whether or not Zimmerman actually said a slur or not. I myself could hear it, but only after I was told to listen for it… so I am not sure whether my senses are playing tricks or not. In any case I hope it doesn’t come down to one mumbled sentence, whether or not a federal case can be made out of this crime. If the Sanford cops had been doing their job… well…

  12. @f

    There’s also the part where his maleness matters. Black *and male*. dealie.

  13. As a culture, we don’t care about black men.

    Hence the uproar about this case across the country. Fox News and/or law enforcement are not all that American culture has to offer. I think you’re generalizing too much with that statement.

    The main difference between myself and Zimmerman is that I don’t have a gun.

    No. There’s a huge difference between 1) feeling anxious around certain types of people, and 2) actively seeking out confrontations with them. Being armed may cause #2 to feel more comfortable in their confrontations, but it in no way turns #1 into #2. Tens of millions of gun owners killed no one yesterday.

  14. An interesting discussion of the case from a right wing pro-gun news site (the former conclusions being drawn from this single encounter with this site)
    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/294006/standing-your-ground-and-vigilantism-robert-verbruggen?pg=1

    Last I checked the majority consensus towards Zimmerman over their seemed to be “hang him high.”

    They also bring up an interesting legal angle that I have not heard on this case before — If Zimmerman’s chasing Trayvon caused Trayvon to fear for his safety (as it obviously did), then Zimmerman was comitting an assault whether or not Trayvor struck first, if Zimmerman was comitting an assult then he was acting unlawfully, and if Zimmerman was acting unlawfully then “Stand your ground” does not apply. Ergo, hang him high*.

    “But, man, it’s just a black kid. Who cares when a black boy dies?

    Not racist America. ”

    Seems like racist America’s gone a bridge too far with this one – just about everyone’s baying for retribution.

    (* I’m actually anti-death penalty myself, lest anyone wants to start arguing with me about that)

  15. Thanks, Ozy.

  16. @f: Yeah, being told what’s supposed to be on an audio recording has definitely been shown to bias what people hear. There’s a well known case study of an Australian murder, where a piece of the 911 call was contested: it’s either “I can’t breathe” or “I shot the prick”. Which alternative people hear if you play them the call depends on what you tell them before playing it. I haven’t listened to Zimmerman’s call myself, but the issue is problematic enough to hope that a trial doesn’t come down to the evidence of its contents.

  17. @ f

    Yes! It really illustrates how double-down stupid these “stand your ground” laws with no responsibility to retreat are. If Trayvon had somehow managed to beat Zimmerman to death with his bare-hands, instead of getting in one or two “Help me! This guy has a gun!” blows, he’d be alive and evidently innocent right now in the eyes of Florida law. (I doubt he would have gotten such a luxurious benefit of the doubt and not been arrested at the scene.) It’s like Florida is trying to ressurect the concept of trial-by-combat. Talk about a Success Myth; win or die!

  18. @ Druk

    But look at what a perfect storm of innocence was required here to get, not even a trial, just an audience. The innocent possesions, Trayvon’s being a minor, the familial backstory, the corroborating phone call to demonstrate that Zimmerman had been outright stalking Trayvon before leaping out against police advice- Please forgive me trotting out the negative stereotypes, but if he’d been twenty-one, carrying a joint, and on his way to visit his white girlfriend, would we have heard anything about this? Trayvon’s being recognized not just because of how he was wronged, but because he died in the middle of such a daytime television morality narrative that lacks any ambiguity. A boy shouldn’t have to die delivering kittens to an orphanage before people wonder if hey, maybe we should do something about the state of things. It’s sick.

  19. @Schala, I found and promptly lost an amazing blog post by a Black woman who noted that back in her neighborhood, what it meant to be a boy was that one had a very high chance of dying before adulthood, and what it meant to be a girl was to constantly be warning the boys and mourning them when something went bad.

    Really heartbreaking

  20. Matthew Swank says:

    Ever since this happened last month, I’ve been struggling with how to deal with this. I signed one of the early petitions, but I don’t live in florida: Why should they listen me? I’m not even black, and it has made me feel sad and helpless. There may be a Florida law that has been broken, but until recently it’s looked liked legalized murder. Some poeple are roused to action buy stuff like this. I just end up feeling hopeless, sad, and broken.

  21. You know what’s sad? I just recently saw my mother and she told me that she doesn’t like me to wear hoodies because she’s afraid something might happen. And if a cop stops me, stop and raise my hands and don’t give them a reason. Walking while black- still kind of scary in America in 2012.

  22. @minuteye: Sadly, the case you mentioned was a New Zealand one, not Australian. Also, police were much more likely to hear the worst (as opposed to the civilian experience of the same recording).

    Unfortunately, we too, have a deeply embedded sense if distrust and racial othering that sees men of colour disproportionately represented in our prison population. Fortunately, we don’t have “stand your ground” laws, and it’s illegal to carry an offensive weapon (even in ‘defence’).

    So sorry that the US had to experience such a tragedy to polarise public opinion.

  23. MorkaisChosen says:

    noah: … The total certainty where some of the Fox commenters are saying he was in a gang was enough to make me wonder if there was something I’d missed, but there’s no evidence for that at all, is there? It’s just an assumption that got thrown into the echo chamber and came back as truth…

  24. MorkaisChosen says:

    Just to be clear, I’m not intending to imply any such doubt remains in my head. I do not believe Trayvon Martin was anything other than an innocent teenager.

  25. @Jared:
    “if Zimmerman was acting unlawfully then “Stand your ground” does not apply.”

    Actually i think it does – Trayvon would have been within his right to stop Zimmerman using deadly force. These laws cut both ways, at least on paper.

    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.013.html

    It says: “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.”

    So technically under this law, it seems even a total stranger could have shot Zimmerman to protect Trayvon.

  26. So technically under this law, it seems even a total stranger could have shot Zimmerman to protect Trayvon.

    Really, anyone could have done so in all 50 states.

  27. minuteye says:

    @jnakabb: Ah, my mistake, thanks for the correction. I wonder if police are more likely in general to hear a more violent interpretation of an ambiguous utterance, or if that was the result of their bias towards the speaker as the perpetrator.

  28. @daelyte: “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.”” While not a lawyer, I would think that if one can safely retreat, the use of deadly force wasn’t necessary. Also this law is very weird since it only applies to people who are attacked.

  29. @Lamech, in Florida, there is no duty to retreat. Check it: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/03/floridas-self-defense-laws-and-the-killing-of-trayvon-martin/254396/ and http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/03/stand-your-ground-and-trayvon-martin/254444/ There are numerous comments from lawyers in both threads about how Florida’s self-defense laws work. People are allowed to “stand their ground” in any public place and still claim self-defense.

    As Jay said on this thread, it almost restores a dueling or Wild West type of ethic to public spaces – I can’t help but think SYG laws cause a major increase in legally justifiable homicides that should never have happened under the self-defense laws that have been the norm for a very, very long time in Anglo-American law.

    It’s really kind of frightening in a way that goes far beyond this specific, ugly case.

  30. Hey, synchronicity.. just posted this, about our local rally:
    http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/2012/03/rally-for-trayvon-martin.html

    South Carolina also has a “stand your ground” law… are you surprised? :(

  31. @daelyte, I’m not sure you’ve understood me. I was making the point that stand your ground did not apply to Zimmerman as a defence, whether or not Trayvon assulted Zimmerman, not that Trayvon should be considered (or not considered) to have been acting in self defence.

    As you said “It says: “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked…”
    If chasing Trayvon is treated as an assult, then Zimmerman is engaging in unlawful activity, and duty to retreat applies.

  32. I just put this up at Ethecofem:
    http://www.ethecofem.com/trayvon-martin-and-why-black-males-distrust-cops/

    I also submitted a modified version at Good Men Project.

  33. I’m also incredibly depressed by the extent of the racist comments about George Zimmerman, the worst being (and I’m not going to use their language) “let the blacks and the Latinos kill each other).”

  34. @f: We really need a lawyer to interpret laws to know what they mean. Sometime things like “deprive of the right of honest services” means “take a bribe”. Now just from standard English, we can look at this as “A if B”. A only applies if B is true. B is “he or she reasonably believes [lethal force] 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.” So if they are using normal English and not legalese, then you can only use lethal force when necessary to save your life, and furthermore if you can safely escape lethal force isn’t necessary.
    Now, yes still might be legalese and not English, however the link you posted doesn’t seem to be a lawyer and doesn’t seem to have talked to one. So I’m going to go with the English interpretation. Also his other complaints about “forcible felony” being too broad? Okay, kidnapping? Have fun getting that qualified as serious bodily harm. Rape? You might actually be able to get that to count but it won’t be easy. And his complaint that you don’t need objective danger doesn’t make sense. The last thing we want is someone to wave around an empty gun, get killed by someone who thinks the gunman has a loaded gun, and then send that person to jail.

    Of course, I seriously doubt it was necessary. Oh and any legalese interpretation that allows for lethal force when you can safely retreat is a terrible law.

  35. Skull Bearer says:

    One thing I’ve been hearing a lot about has been the ‘stand your ground’ laws that would potentially make Martin’s murder legal. I wonder how it would go down if a black person tried to claim self-defence under these laws if they killed a white person?

  36. All Contraire says:

    Culled from a series of ongoing articles in the ‘Tampa Bay Times’ and other sources, the following is a similar tragic story, which reads as a mirror image of the Trayvon Martin shooting, except there is detailed testimony from eye-witnesses. Make of it what you will.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/aftermath-of-deadly-shooting-in-valrico-leaves-community-bewildered/1124429

    Valrico is described as an unincorporated census-designated place in rural Hillsborough County, Florida, with a population of 6582 at the 2000 census; a median income of $53, 314 and median house/condo price of $170,109 in 2009. Racial/ethnic makeup: 59.3% White; 20.5% Hispanic; 10.5% Asian; 7.4% Black; and 2.3% Other.

    Valrico, Sept. 26, 2010. David James, 41, a White male who had served 20 years in the Air Force was shot to death by a local school bus driver, Trevor Dooley, a 69-year-old Black man originally from New York where he had been a delivery driver in the Bronx.

    Summarized from articles and quoted from court testimony as related in the ‘Tampa Bay Times’. Unfortunately the paper’s dates are not clear, especially in the lengthy ongoing trial. As far as I can tell, the First Degree Manslaughter trial began in December last year, over a year after the incident, and has been bogged down ever since over the ‘Stand Your Ground’ mess.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/criminal/witnesses-dispute-trevor-dooleys-stand-your-ground-claim-in-valrico/1206308

    Valrico, Florida, Sunday afternoon, Sept, 26, 2010. As he often did, 41-year-old David James, a 20-year Air Force veteran, was enjoying playing basketball with his 8-year-old daughter at the local park, which is owned by the Twin Lakes Neighborhood Association.

    The court testimony picks up here: 14-year-old Spencer Arthur was “visiting friends in…Twin Lakes…He took his skateboard to the park and asked permission to practice trick moves from James, who was shooting hoops with his daughter. The only others in the park were a couple playing tennis.

    But the boy then heard a voice from across the street. It was Dooley, outside his garage, shouting that he should get off the court, that there was a no-skateboarding sign. The boy stopped. He heard James call out to Dooley, “Show me the sign.” Michael Scott Whitt, practicing tennis serves nearby with his wife, Michelle, stopped to watch. They testified that Dooley briefly went into his garage, then started across the street with a dark object sticking out of his waistband. They said James threw his hands up and said, “Oh, come on.”

    Dooley and James argued over letting the boy skate until Dooley lifted his shirt and said, “F— you,” the Whitts testified. They said Dooley turned and started home, but James caught up with him. “Mr. James said, ‘Don’t flash a weapon,’ something like that,” Michelle Whitt testified. Then, she said, Dooley pulled out the gun and James grabbed his hand. The men struggled, they fell to the ground, and James ended up on his knees as Dooley lay on his side. They still wrestled for the gun. The gun fired.

    “Mr. James looked up at us,” Michelle Whitt testified. “He said, ‘Call 911. I’ve been shot.’ Then he fell over.” He was shot through the heart. A medical examiner said he probably died within seconds. Michael Whitt called 911 at the same time the boy did. On his call, Whitt cried out, “Oh my God. All this over a skateboard.”

    Dooley waited by the body for paramedics and police. After questioning by officers he was not charged and let go. He returned to work Monday driving a school bus for middle and high school students and said nothing to school officials about the shooting. It’s not clear to me from any of the articles when Mr. Dooley was arrested and charged with ‘First Degree Manslaughter’; but he was out on bail pending his trial which began over a year later in December 2011 and is still on-going. Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground Law’ is at the heart of his defense.

    In a day of anguished [pre-trial motion to dismiss?] testimony, eyewitnesses who included the [now 15-year-old] skateboarder consistently described Dooley as the aggressor who cursed his neighbor and flashed a pistol before a fatal struggle for the gun.

    The testimony offered a preview of Dooley’s trial on a first-degree manslaughter charge scheduled for January if a judge doesn’t dismiss the case based on his ‘Stand Your Ground’ defense.

    Dooley’s attorney, Ronald Tulin, repeatedly got the Whitts to describe the difference in size and age between the men [James was bigger and 28 years younger]. He had them restate their testimony that Dooley was headed back to his house before the fight. But when questioned by prosecutor Stephen Udagawa, the witnesses persisted in labeling Dooley the aggressor. They said James never tried to punch or choke Dooley. They said he only went for the gun. “There were no threats, no fists,” Michelle Whitt said. She stopped looking after the shot. All she could think to do, she said, was run to James’ little girl, standing nearby.”

    The following are some quotes from various articles in the ‘Tampa Bay Times’, which seem more balanced and subdued, sad really, compared with the media hysteria now being whipped up in countless national, state and local cable and online news reports, papers, blogs, etc., over the Martin shooting…

    In a 911 call played Wednesday for Hillsborough Circuit Judge Ashley Moody, the [then 14-year-old] skateboarder blamed himself. “It was my fault,” Spencer Arthur cried to a dispatcher. “He (Dooley) got mad at me because I was skateboarding. I didn’t know what the rules are. I don’t live there.”

    “Neighbors said Dooley is a fine man with good intentions. They couldn’t understand how a man wound up dead.”

    “It’s just really sad and it’s stupid,” said Sam Romano, 50, a neighbor. “None of it made any sense to any of us.”

    Mark Cox, a State Attorney’s Office spokesman, said he couldn’t yet explain why no charges have been filed. “It’s still very much a pending investigation,” he said. “We’re working on it diligently.”

    Neighbors said James was defending skateboarders, who they said have had multiple run-ins with Dooley. “We’ve gone off on each other before,” said James’ stepson, 17-year-old Garrett James.

    James’ wife, Kanina James, can’t understand why Dooley is free. “It’s over and it’s done and it can’t be undone,” she said on the phone to a friend Monday morning. “Yeah, they caught him and they let him go. I don’t know why.”

    http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/article/246549/8/Widow-wants-Stand-Your-Ground-law-changed

    March 22, 2012

    Valrico, Florida — A Bay area woman believes Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law needs to be changed. Kanina James’ husband, David, was shot and killed in September 2010 in his Twin Lakes neighborhood during an argument about skateboarders.

    Trevor Dooley, the accused shooter, has claimed self-defense and is using Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Right now, arguments are being filed on a motion to dismiss the charges, including manslaughter, against Dooley.

    James calls it a slap in the face and is against the “Stand Your Ground” law. She feels it’s not being used correctly and is creating horrible injustices, such as the Trayvon Martin case happening in Sanford right now.

    “It’s wrong. It’s being overused for the wrong reasons. It’s not right,” says James…..

    This tragedy remained a purely local story. No day-after-day national and international media sensation. No angry protest marches. No Presidential empathy. No Al Sharpton. Still, one wonders if the outcry and pressure to arrest, prosecute, and convict in the Trayvon Martin shooting might not, perversely, have a negative impact on Mr. Dooley’s defense, causing the court to deny his motion to dismiss and influencing jurors toward a conviction, albeit for manslaughter not murder. What is clear is that the “Stand Your Ground Law” is a legal mess.

  37. What is clear is that the “Stand Your Ground Law” is a legal mess.

    Yeah… my link, above, offers the case of a South Carolina squatter shot under the SYG law.

    He didn’t die, so you didn’t hear about it.

    >:(

  38. One more thing about the Martin case being a perfect storm for getting public attention– Zimmerman wasn’t a policeman.

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