By Hashim Arain
Over the past few weeks, people all across the country have been shocked by the shooting of seventeen year old Trayvon Martin. This case has sparked national outrage around the country, and there have been protests all over the country with protesters wearing hoodies in solidarity with Trayvon Martin. The NAACP has also taken part in the protests.
The shooting took place in Sanford, Florida, and it was done by a man named George Zimmerman. Martin was on his way home from a convenience store when Zimmerman started to follow him. Supposedly, Martin and Zimmerman had an altercation with each other, resulting in Zimmerman shooing Martin. According to the Global Post, Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer, and his reasoning for killing Martin was “self defense.”
There have been odd reports about what happened in this case, such as the 911 call that Zimmerman conducted with the police. The Orlando Sentinel had audio of the 911 call that Zimmerman had made to the police, and it became apparent that Zimmerman was following Martin even though the police specifically told him not to.
There have been a lot of conflicting reports on what exactly happened in this shooting, and there is some confusion on what Zimmerman stated to the police. Some say that Zimmerman was racially motivated to shoot Martin. That could be a possibility, but we have to wait for more information to come out.
This case has a lot to do with the state of Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law. According to NPR, the law states that a person who feels “threatened” can use any kind of force for self-defense. This is the same claim that Zimmerman used for his reasoning for shooting Martin, as he somehow felt hostility towards him.
I think that this is a tough case to figure out exactly what took place, considering how many conflicting reports are out there. It was unnecessary for Zimmerman to continue to follow Martin after the police specifically told him not to do it. Either way, it was very naïve of Zimmerman to follow some teenager who he thought was suspicious just because he was wearing a black hoodie and happened to be black. Zimmerman was a neighborhood watchman and thought he was just doing his job, but there is a certain point that you just have to let the authorities handle things. I think that was something that Zimmerman did not understand or simply ignored.
Trayvon Martin was just a teen that had some Skittles and iced tea. It will be interesting to see when the public will have more information on this case, and then I think people will broaden their opinions more.