Senseless Death

I find myself once again dumbfounded, furious and dismayed; a bundle of independent emotions yet completely related to each other. Once again we have a child dead in the street, shot for no apparent reason other than he was young, Black and didn’t appear to belong.

www.bet.com

Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin, 17 was nothing more than young and black, that was his ‘crime’. According to the 911 tape, on which his assailant George Zimmerman says ‘These assholes always get away’. Trayvon’s crime? Walking while black in a neighborhood that George Zimmerman had decided he did not belong.  Trayvon apparently carried the cultural weight of suspicion on his young and narrow shoulders.

We will never know what really happened the night of 26-Feb-2012, when George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin had their fatal encounter. We will never know because only one of them remains breathing and in this world to tell us, George Zimmerman and he isn’t telling anything that doesn’t serve his own interest. All we are left with is the context of a senseless killing of a young man and a ‘defense’ based on laws that create vigilante ‘justice’ by self-designated citizen police. What we know or can at least extract from pictures and listening to 911 calls is this:

  • George was following Trayvon in his car. George made a 911 call describing Trayvon as suspicious in part because he was young and black.
  • George got out of his car, though he was told not to follow or confront Trayvon.
  • Trayvon ran and George chased him, despite being told not to by the 911 operator.
  • There was a confrontation between the man and the boy. The man shot the boy, killing him. The man has claimed self-defense and is using the “Stand Your Ground” law as the basis of his defense.

What is the likelihood the last statement makes any real sense? That a 17 year-old would confront a man, ten years older and nearly 100 lbs. heavier? Even the bravest, the boldest of young men might be cowed by this skirmish. We hear on the last 911 recordings the calls for help, these calls don’t sound as if they come from a grown man, do they? So what are we left with, what do we have?

www.thedailybeast.com

The Parents of Trayvon Martin

We have a family devastated by the death of their son and without answers to their basic question, “Why?” All we have is a local police that seem to have not done their job, are afraid even to have done the basic job we would expect in investigating the death of a young man, a 17 year old child doing nothing more than walking on the sidewalk in a neighborhood he in fact belonged in. All we have is a state Justice Department, refusing to do their job and turning over their responsibility to the Federal Department of Justice, is this fear or simple incompetence?

What we really have is another senseless death and another family shattered. Another mother laying her child in the cold ground, another father burying his son, another brother growing up without his big brother to guide and mentor him. What do we have? Trayvon Martin walked to the store to buy candy and a drink, upon his return he was met by suspicion and ultimately by lethal force for no reason other than he appeared to not belong. Why? Because he was young and black and George Zimmerman in his self-assigned role of neighborhood watch and apparently enforcement of standards believed he didn’t belong, for this and no other reason Trayvon Martin is dead.

Trayvon Martin is dead before he could vote. Trayvon Martin is dead before his high school graduation. Trayvon Martin is dead before he could make the choices in life most of us take for granted; what we will be when we achieve adulthood, according to his father he wanted to be an airplane engine mechanic. Trayvon Martin is dead before he could marry and have children. Trayvon Martin is dead at 17. What can we do?

www.cbsnews.com

Trayvon Martin
Is this what George Zimmerman saw?

We can demand justice for Trayvon and his family. We can demand the police; the Justice Department at all levels do their job to uncover the entire truth. We can demand those who failed to do their jobs pay the consequence of their inaction. We can refuse a platform to the family of George Zimmerman, the police or the Media that begins to shift the perception of who the victim of this encounter is. George Zimmerman is not the victim, whether he is a cold blooded murder is yet to be determined, nevertheless he is not the victim.

What can we do? We can remember Trayvon Martin, dead at 17, an incomprehensible tragedy.

Comments

  1. In the Uk we have been a little aware of this story. After reading more details here I have become very interested in the story.

    We have had a story running for some years. Namely, the Stephen Lawrence murder comitted 18 years ago. In short, a 17year old black youth, Stephen Lawrence, was knifed to death on a London street by about 6 white men. The police bungled the investigation, not because they were inefficient, but because they were racist. They knew who did it but they didn’t arrest them. The evidential scent went cold. After an out cry by the public and media, these men were eventually charged, they went to court and were found not guilty. Thanks to a concerted campaign headed by Stephen’s mother and father, and after a goverment public enquiry which concluded that the “London Metropolitan Police Force” were institutionaly racist, two of the six men have now, 18 years later, been tried and found guilty of his murder.

    See the full story here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Stephen_Lawrence

    From what I have read of the Florida case, I have no doubt that this one is not going to go away. There is such a growing wave of anger world wide about this, that the case will be carried by a tide of outrage and political embarrisment. New evidence about the case is surfacing daily. There may well be race riots about this which will become a huge political problem for Obama. Something will have to be done. I dare to hope that the local Police dept are going to be toast over this.

    Sorry to take so long. How sensless and sad this is.

    • Bill, thanks for the link and no worries for the length I welcome the information. You are right this isn’t going away. Not this time. This town and this police force have had other problems and I believe finally they will be held accountable. But, still so many deaths senseless and tragic. So many young lives lost.

  2. I don’t understand how there is any justification at all by anyone when he was told not to get out of the car and not to pursue. At that point, he was taking the law in his own hands. What a mess!

    Thank you for writing this. Your passion makes a strong case. Angie

    • More and more information is coming out, I am so dismayed by the handling of this case. How this man continues to be free is shocking. You are right, he took the law into his hands, this has nothing to do with the Stand Your Ground (self defense) law, rather he pursued Trayvon and killed him, a 17 year old child with his life before him.

      Thanks for stopping Angie.

  3. Another anonymous face giving media focus to a bullheaded, self-righteous bigot. Very telling of the country who consumes this mode of media.
    Red.

    • I am so saddened by this one. What is shocking though is what seems to being coming out now:

      Drug / Alcohol tested Trayvon (he of course was dead on ground)
      Did not do either to Zimmerman the night of the shooting
      Background check on Trayvon
      No background check on Zimmerman

      Trayvon laid in morgue for three days before his parents were notified. Despite they had his phone. Despite that phone continued to ring. Despite there was a missing person report filed.

      There is something truly wrong with this police department. Certainly something wrong with Zimmerman.

      • Once this is handled, I would love to see the statistics from the department on how often this is happening. I have a hard time buying this is an anomaly.

        It begs the question: Who is Zimmerman related to or did he contribute to for this level of “look the other way”ness?
        Red.

        • I am betting these aren’t kept Red. I am good at ferreting out statistics, I went and looked for some of them and couldn’t find this specific one. Even looked for Civil Rights abuses, unless DOJ is brought in, you can’t find these.

          • Which then leads to the whole, redacted statement. Oh, I feel my blood pressure going up…

            • Actually I just watched something on MSNBC that had some interesting stats, I will start looking tomorrow when I get home. Apparently there have been at least 3 other similar cases in this particular city.

              • Be careful and try not to hurt anyone in customs 🙂

                • You don’t even want to know about US Customs in the Bahamas! We nearly missed our flight despite the 2 hour early arrival. Whoever heard of having only 3 Customs Agents working when there are 4 flights leaving? By the way you pass US Customs in the Bahamas rather than the US, nice job right?

        • I agree Ann Marie – something stinks to high heaven about all this.

          • I am with Val in thinking it will never truly all be uncovered, but I would like to see someone stick a pitchfork in the manure pile.
            Red.

  4. I could start on a tirade but that wouldn’t be very nice. This is the 21st century. I don’t understand these self-righteous people. How sad for the parents.

    • I tried to keep my tirade to a minimum, it is okay to resort to ranting now and then. I am so tired of seeing young people mowed down. I am so tired of seeing these deaths going unanswered. I weep for our nation.

  5. Mary Lourcey Jones says:

    Beautiful post about another senseless tragedy. And why George Zimmerman is not in jail is a complete mystery to me. I signed this petition, don’t know if it will help, but can’t hurt.

    http://signon.org/sign/justice-for-trayvon-martin.fb1?source=s.fb&r_by=27294

  6. Melissa Silvia says:

    My prayers go to out to hims mom & dad. Such a senseless waist of a beautiful young life. I am so sorry for their loss.

    • Hi Melissa –

      I think all of us now need to continue our focus on his family and our hope they will get the support and the justice they need and deserve.

      Thank you for reading.

      Val

  7. Shared. I’ll say more later, after my own little one is (blessedly) tucked safely into his bed.

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