Why George Zimmerman Should Pay for Trayvon Martin’s Murder

trayvon martin

George Zimmerman probably didn’t wake up on February 26 thinking he was going to instigate a now-infamous news-making confrontation and he almost certainly wasn’t expecting to be labeled a cold-blooded killer. But he did and he is.

In the wake of his reportedly calculated attack against a “suspicious-looking” boy who, as it turns out, was armed only with a pack of Skittles, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is dead for no reason whatsoever besides the glaringly obvious fact that he had the misfortune of being alone, vulnerable, and black at the exact time that Zimmerman was able to flex his moxie as neighborhood watchman. Still, the Florida law that fundamentally gives the right to murder seems to be shielding him from prosecution and making him an unlikely folk hero for gun-toting vigilantes everywhere. 

It hits particularly close to home for black folks who, in addition to the basic life lessons that all kids have to learn, have had to teach our kids—particularly our sons, nephews, brothers, cousins, and male neighbors, mentees, and students—how to avoid tenuous situations with cops and other figures of authority lest they end up riddled with bullets like Sean Bell or beat in a merciless frenzy like Rodney King. We have to remember to tell them not to walk through certain communities that say to hell with a civil rights bill and make examples of young African-American men like Yusuf Hawkins, who was beaten to death back in the late 80s by a blood-thirsty gang of locals angry at his presence in their Bensonhurst, Brooklyn neighborhood.

More from The Stir: Tragic Trayvon Martin Shooting Is an American Problem Not a Black One (VIDEO)

Now it seems that we can add to the list a teenage boy walking home from the store who was apparently stalked by Zimmerman, empowered by the itty bitty bit of pathetic authority he possessed as a neighborhood watchman, that some may label an armchair bigot. In order to justify his seemingly premeditated attack on Trayvon, I think he started setting up his alibi early by calling 911 and crafting the story about a wandering black guy who seemed not only out of place in the area, but looked like “he’s on drugs or something.” No one wants a druggie roaming through his neighborhood. You’ve seen pictures of Trayvon. I’ve seen pictures of Trayvon. And there doesn’t seem to me to be even a whiff of evidence that that boy looked like anything other than a normal, average, regular, everyday teenager. He was wearing a hoodie and jeans. He was on the phone with his girlfriend. And he was walking back from the store unarmed but in the crosshairs of an alleged killer.

Had Zimmerman actually been attacked, he surely would’ve mentioned that to the 911 operator after he called for police backup. Instead of saying that he was standing at a distance peering at a suspicious-looking young black guy, he would’ve said that an altercation had occurred, that he feared for his safety, that he was calling for backup because he had already experienced the wrath of this unidentified threatening person. That didn’t happen. In fact, the 911 operator asked him if he was following this mysterious menace to society and told Zimmerman that he didn’t need to do that, that he should wait for police to arrive. It appears that he didn’t listen. So, even if there was an altercation between Zimmerman and Trayvon, the course of events that took place seem to point to him as the instigator, not the other way around.

Zimmerman’s most telling comment on his 911 call: “These a**holes. They always get away.” It seems that he’s the a**hole getting away, largely because Florida’s “stand your ground” law gives legal protection to citizens who feel physically threatened and endangered by the individual on the opposite end of their protective measures—in this case, his gun barrel. But the application of the law here does nothing but give a renegade gunslinger a smoke screen to hide behind what is appears to me to be an obvious instance of racial profiling escalated into a full-blown hate crime. It doesn’t matter that Zimmerman isn’t white. Racial prejudice isn’t relegated to just black and white. Asians discriminate against black folks, black folks harass Arab people and so on and so forth. There are all kinds of crazy combinations of race-based ignorance.

The fact that public outcry had to be the catalyst to light the fire under the justice system is pathetic. In the name of justice, Michael Vick was sent to prison for almost two years on felony charges, all but crucified by the media and animal rights enthusiasts, and practically destroyed inside out ... for killing dogs. George Zimmerman reportedly murdered an unarmed boy—unless you consider his pack of Skittles a potential weapon—and he’s roaming free. If the system fails to prosecute and convict citizens who take advantage of the legal backing to shoot and kill individuals who pose a threat to their safety, then heck, maybe we really are living in the end of days when anarchy and chaos will rule the streets. That means anyone can get it. You, me, our children. Especially if your complexion happens to fall on the darker shade of brown. 

When the dust settles from this story and the press moves on, Trayvon’s family will still be mourning their loss on his would-be graduation day, holidays, his birthday, and all of those little moments that he’ll miss and they’ll miss him. But if Trayvon can’t enjoy them with his loved ones, George Zimmerman for damn sure doesn’t need to either.

Is the “stand your ground” law applicable in this situation?

Image via AP Photo

death, discrimination, guns, in the news, law, racism


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femal... femaleMIKE

NO, this law does not protect Zimmerman.  They should have investigated the entire incident to confirm Zimmerman's story.  The police did not......don't they know not to assume?

Craft... CraftyJenna

From the way you described the situtation, no. "Stand your gound laws" essentially mean you have the right to ddeadly force if your life is threatened, that you don't have to try first to retreat. It does not mean that you can shoot first and ask questions later. Is he still under investigation? I really don't see how this falls into the spectrum of the law at all, unless he is claiming the boy attacked him.

fraoch fraoch

This story bugs the hell out of me b/c of the 911 call and his admitting to following the child. He didn't just have some random person come attack him (if he was attacked which I HIGHLY doubt) he followed someone and made that person feel threatened. I'm so sickened by this b/c this man took this child's life and nothing is being done about it which is utter bullshit b/c we all know if the boy was white there'd be an arrest already made.

omgitsjo omgitsjo

No, I don't think it applies and I think it comes down to had he not followed Trayvon, had he stayed back like he was told to do, Trayvon would still be alive.

NatAndCo NatAndCo

I don't think "stand your ground" applies when you provoke the person first to attack and then shoot. I am not saying the boy did anything of the sort but if anyone had the right to defend themselves in that situation it was Martin. Here he was being followed by a random man, not an officer, in the dead of night, if anyone should've felt threatened it should've been him. Who's to say he didn't "attack" after this man pulled a gun on him in an attempt to protect himself.

This whole story reeks of racism and hatred and I pray this horrible man pays for it. "Stand your ground" doesn't apply here but Hate Crime sure does.

PonyC... PonyChaser

Honestly, while I believe Zimmerman was completely in the wrong, I do NOT think that this was about race. So many people want to paint it that way, and, while it may have played a part, I don't think it was the catalyst.

By all accounts (and I freely admit that this is hearsay), Zimmerman is a "wannabe". He wanted to be a cop, but was turned down, so he decided to join the Neighborhood Watch (or form one - a report I heard said there was no organized group in the area) to 'up his cred' with the police and maybe be chosen. Another report said that he's called the police something like 60 times since the beginning of the year. This guy comes across to me as one of those guys who feels like the gun is an extension of (or a replacement for) his manhood. If he hunts, he doesn't do it to harvest, he does it for the thrill of the kill, and brags about it after, maybe even exaggerating the kill to make himself look better. He's a narcissist, building himself up in his mind to be 'all that and more'.

So that night, he was John Wayne and Marshall Dillon all rolled into one. Travon Martin could have been Joe WhiteBoy Smith for all Zimmerman cared. Someone was walking in his neighborhood on his watch, and he was going to be the conquering hero who vanquished the foe.

That doesn't make Trayvon any less dead. But it does mean that it wasn't about race, at least, in my opinion. ANYbody walking in that neighborhood was in danger because Zimmerman was there.

PonyC... PonyChaser

I do believe, however, that the press is fanning the flames of the 'racism' thing. They need to do a FULL investigation. Here are some questions I have, that may or may not have been answered, but I haven't heard them:

- Why didn't Trayvon tell his girlfriend he was being followed? Why did he not tell her to call 911, or why didn't he hang up and do it himself?

- Trayvon looks like he was a pretty in-shape guy. Why didn't he run? Did he turn and confront Zimmerman? (not blaming the victim, just want a better pic of what happened)

- Why was Zimmerman's statement taken by a Narc Detective, and not a Homicide Det?


And no, 'Stand Your Ground' does NOT apply when you instigate the confrontation. Trayvon would have been protected by SYG if he'd have had a gun and pulled it on Zimmerman when he was attacked. Zimmerman was, allegedly, the attacker, and therefore cannot claim self-defense OR Stand Your Ground.

Stacey. Stacey.


The Stand Your Ground Law is for people who are bullied to the point of feeling their life is endangered. I do not see how this law is protecting that animal. Trayvon had the right to walk around, and not be harrassed, point blank. For a case in which this law worked please reference Jorge Saavedra.

If he walks free this means that we have the right follow people minding their own business for looking a certain way, and killing them because we feel like it. No longer should any American feel safe walking around in public, becasue someone may kill you for the way we look.

Zimmerman needs locked up now before another innoccent person dies.

nonmember avatar Lexasmom

@PonyChaser - Trayvon told his girlfriend he was being followed. She told him to run. Because he had done nothing wrong, he told her he would not run but would walk faster. He thought he lost Zimmerman but saw him again. He turned to Zimmerman and asked, why are you following me? Zimmerman, asked Trayvon "What are you doing here?" The call was then disconnected. After which the 911 calls begin and you can hear Trayvon screaming for help as neighbors describe Zimmerman being on top of Trayvon while Trayvon was on the ground. He continued crying for help and the next sound is a gunshot. Nothing self-defense in this case when an adult is on top of a 17 year old boy. I don't care how "in shape" the teenager looks. He wasn't a big kid. He was average sized. He was walking down the street. No one should be shot for walking home from the store. Your questions are answered in the sequential 911 calls which the Sanford police chose to ignore.

Stacey. Stacey.

Pnychaser please dont for one minute believe that had Trayvon been white he would still be dead.

1.Trayvon did tell his gf he was being followed.

2.Trayvon put his hood on because he felt Zimmerman watching him. RUnning would only make it seem more suspicious.

3.Zimmerman has ties to Bill Lee, the head of the Sanford police dept.

4.If Zimmerman was black, and Trayvon was white, Z would be locked up no questions asked.

If YOU stalk someone, you have NO RIGHT to claim self defense for something YOU instigated.

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