Florida college students are rallying today outside of the Seminole County courthouse, issuing a simple demand: “Arrest Zimmerman now.” They’re talking about George Zimmerman, the Sanford, FL neighborhood-watch captain who killed South Florida teenager Trayvon Martin on February 26 –and remains a free man three weeks later, despite the undisputed fact that he fired the shot that killed the 17-year-old (pictured above).
The key question in all of this is, why did he do it? The 250-pound Zimmerman alleges that he acted in self-defense after a physical confrontation with the 140-pound Trayvon ensued. One wonders how it even got to that, seeing as Trayvon appeared to be minding his own business, walking back to the home of his father’s girlfriend with his newly-purchased Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea?
All Zimmerman had were his suspicions, as voiced in a 911 call that he made upon spotting Trayvon (caution for an expletive):
“Hey, we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy … This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining, and he’s just walking around looking about … Now he’s coming towards me. He’s got his hand in his waistband. And he’s a black male … Something’s wrong with him. Yup, he’s coming to check me out. He’s got something in his hands. I don’t know what his deal is … These a**holes, they always get away.
Some facts of the case are still in question: why Zimmerman continued to pursue Trayvon after being told by the 911 dispatcher to not do so; what happened in the physical confrontation, and what provoked it; the shooter’s mental stability; and the viability of his “self-defense” defense in Florida. Remember, that’s where then-Governor Jeb Bush signed the “Stand Your Ground” law in 2005. It just so happens that rates of “justifiable homicides” in the state skyrocketed in subsequent years.
Per the Orlando Sentinel’s recent primer on the law, the director of the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence deems “Stand Your Ground” to be “a right to commit murder”:
“I predict this case is not going to be charged — it’s going to be dismissed,” he said of the case against Zimmerman. “Almost every case between two individuals where one was armed and the other was not is dismissed.”