Pushback in Trayvon Martin case

Two developments to report.

George Zimmerman’s account of why he shot and killed Trayvon Martin has surfaced, and Sanford police have signaled their backing of his story. The most recent news reports don’t explain why Zimmerman ignored police warnings and pursued Martin. Also, Zimmerman claims that he was screaming for help. Screams can be heard during a 911 call, but it has not been determined forensically who was crying out for help. One of many things the local police didn’t do.

Also, news about Trayvon Martin’s drug-related suspension from high school. (There are also reports of graffiti and suspected burglary.) This doesn’t really have anything to do with the shooting, but it will be useful information for those people among us who want to make Martin seem like less of a victim — and to extend the meaning out, to blame the victim for the crime. That’s what Geraldo Rivera and others are doing, claiming that Martin’s hoodie is to blame for his death. Which is like saying that women who wear mini-skirts are asking to be raped. And, taking another few steps backward, some of Zimmerman’s supporters can’t avoid pointing out that so many young black men are criminals. Hence, any hint of criminality in Trayvon Martin’s behavior feeds their support for Zimmerman’s actions.

This is an ugly case, and I’m afraid it won’t end well for those seeking justice–or even its downsized cousin, closure. One thing that should change: “Stand Your Ground” measures, which empower, enable, and even encourage┬ávigilantes to enforce street justice and even lynch-law, need to be repealed.

For coverage, see the latest article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Meanwhile, students across the nation rally to protest Trayvon Martin’s killing.

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