The Trayvon Martin Affair
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Florida’s Stand Your Ground law doesn’t prohibit that they arrest George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon MartinTrayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in a gated community in Sanford, Fla. Family handout. Read Slate’s complete coverage of the Trayvon Martin case . With outrage over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin flaring into protest marches , the city manager of beleaguered Sanford, Fla., where the police have failed to arrest Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, released a crazy-making statement Wednesday night. The Sanford city manager claimed, “By Florida statute, law enforcement was PROHIBITED from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time.”
Laurie Penny: America learns it cannot ignore race and class on the Million Hoodie March - Commentators - OpinionIt's getting dark in Manhattan, thousands of young people in hoodies have taken to the streets, and brightly-coloured sweets are crunching underfoot. Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was carrying a bag of skittles, a bottle of iced tea and no weapons when he was shot dead in Florida last month, and the police have still failed to punish his killer. At this march, called in protest at institutional violence against young black men in America, demonstrators from Occupy Wall Street toss skittles over the pavement and carry iced tea, and hundreds of voices chant Trayvon's name. For the poorest urban communities, police brutality and financial injustice have always been part of the same equation - and it's just the same with the fightback.On the corner of Washington Square, you can hear them yelling in unison: 'We are all Trayvon Martin!'. Teenagers run with their hoods pulled up, stopping traffic as they go.
Pundits want black parents to use the teenager's death as a warning for their sons. But the real moral of the story is for white children. Two young boys hold signs during a Tallahassee rally organized by the National Christian League of Councils on April 4, 2012. Philip Sears/Reuters In the past few weeks, I have read a number of articles about conversations that I, as a black mother, should be having with my 9-year-old son.
When George Zimmerman saw Trayvon Martin walking down the street in Sanford, Florida, he quickly assumed that the Black, hoodie-clad teenager was carrying a weapon. He then pulled out his gun and fatally shot the young student, whose hands were gripping nothing more than a bag of Skittles. The fact that George Zimmerman assumed so quickly that Trayvon Martin was armed smacks of the worst kind of prejudice and racism. It is a tragic assumption that led to the death of an innocent young student, who had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. But, unfortunately, a 2002 study by psychologist Joshua Correll suggests that the average, run-of-the-mill college student might have acted the exact same way.
As the nation is riveted on the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida, I and others in law enforcement have been asked to comment on this high-profile case—mostly about police procedure. But we cannot “armchair quarterback” this case or any other from afar unless and until we know the facts. What we do know is that the spotlight is very bright right now on gun violence, especially on so-called “stand-your-ground” laws, which 25 states have enacted , and five more are considering. Florida’s law , which extends the Castle Doctrine by removing the duty to retreat, gives legal protection to anyone, anywhere, to use 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."
Earlier this month, I laid out $60 at a gun store in Orlando to take the firearms course required for a license to carry a concealed weapon. Rieg’s Gun Shop and Range is located in a squat cinderblock building, between the Baby Dolls strip club and The Royal bar. Inside, a long-haired cat lounged on a glass display case that held used semi-automatic pistols. Rifles and shotguns hung on a wall, and there were novelty paper targets for sale near the indoor range. One featured Osama bin Laden; another showed a woman brandishing a tequila bottle in one hand and an automatic handgun in the other. The store manager helped me through the paperwork, and then notarized the application himself.
Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman has not been charged. family handout Read Slate’s complete coverage of the Trayvon Martin case . The story of Trayvon Martin’s death is heartbreaking. If you have missed the facts: The 17-year-old, who is black, was walking to a friend’s home in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., when a neighborhood-watch volunteer*, 28-year-old George Zimmerman, spotted him.
As it happens , Trayvon Martin was on the phone when George Zimmerman was following him. The young lady with whom he was speaking, through her lawyer, talked to ABC News : "He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man," Martin's friend said. "I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run."
SANFORD, Fla. -- In the summer of 2010, a masked man gunned down Ikeem Ruffin, 17, in an apartment complex on this city's north side. When police arrived, they found Ruffin dead and another teenager beside the body calling for an ambulance. The next day, police charged the teen with robbery and murder. Prosecutors dropped the murder charge last August and said another man, still unidentified, pulled the trigger. Teresa Ruffin, the victim's mother, said the police overlooked important evidence -- including a witness who pointed to another suspect -- and allowed her son's killer to go free.
Media Firms Sue To Open Zimmerman File: New York Times, Associated Press, Gannett asking for Florida judge to unseal caseSanford Police Department Chief Bill Lee (C) temporarily stepped down last month but the city rejected his resignation on Monday Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images. UPDATE: In a surprise move, Sanford city commissioners voted Monday to reject the resignation of Bill Lee, the local police chief who temporarily stepped aside last month to help soothe tensions over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Examining the details and unanswered questions that will come to light when the case goes to court next month. The neighborhood where 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot to death. Reuters Update 5:20 p.m. We've just learned from the Sanford Police that there is evidently a typo on the first page of the neighborhood watch calls report they provided.
It was all too good to be true. Last week even conservatives expressed concern about the way Sanford, Fla., police handled the death of unarmed, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, one month ago today. Florida’s Tea Party Gov. Rick Scott asked for an outside investigation, and another Tea Party favorite, Rep.
The time has come for the cheerleading on both sides to stop in the killing of Trayvon Martin and for everybody to unite around the need for the truth -- or as much of it as we can recapture -- to emerge as to precisely what happened on that dark, rainy night. Once the facts have been established, by scientific, forensic and other evidence, then we can begin to analyze whether these facts constitute a defense under Florida's stand your ground statute, which, for better or worse, strongly favors the defendant. At the moment, the facts in the case -- at least those known to the public -- are ever shifting. One journalist aptly characterized the case as, "a narrative Rorschach that each side will interpret as it wishes." Now it has been announced that the special prosecutor may soon release new information that may change both the public perception of the case and its legal strengths and weaknesses. Several points can be made even now with a high degree of certainty.
Why the case won't be as straightforward as you might expect. Put yourself in special prosecutor Angela Corey's shoes for just a moment. On the one hand, she has an ethical obligation not to prosecute a case she doesn't believe she can win. On the other hand she has an obligation to zealously prosecute people whom she believes may have committed murder. The first obligation reins in the vast discretion prosecutors typically have to bring criminal charges. The second, conversely, prods prosecutors to indict even when they know they don't have a slam-dunk case.
The news that Florida prosecutors are bringing charges against George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin raises two questions: Will Zimmerman be convicted? And what role will Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law play in the case? Before considering either of these two questions, however, one must recognize that we don't have all the relevant facts yet.