Op-Ed: Trayvon Martin case about much more than race

By | April 12, 2012

In less than 24 hours after stating she solely determine the fate of the Trayvon Martin case, Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey held a news conference to announce the filing of a second degree murder charge against George Zimmerman and his arrest.

The decision by Corey to charge Zimmerman closes one chapter of a tragic event and opens a new one. As has been widely reported, Trayvon Martin was killed on February 26 while walking in a suburban Orlando neighborhood, en route home from a 7-Eleven store armed with a bag of Skittles candy and iced tea.

Zimmerman spotted Martin, whom he described as “suspicious looking”, and pursued him despite being told by a non-emergency 911 operator not to follow the youth. Soon after Martin ended up dead, gunned down by Zimmerman, who claimed self-defense under Florida’s “Stand your Ground” law. Initially, Sanford police took Zimmerman into custody, but released him in spite of a chief investigating officer’s insistence the unofficial neighborhood watch volunteer should be arrested. Yesterday, Zimmerman surrendered voluntarily to the police and was taken into custody. He has retained new counsel.

The outcry in the Sanford Black community over the failure of police to initially arrest George Zimmerman hit the social media network and mushroomed quickly into a national movement. Martin’s death spawned protests around the country and globe, with major civil rights organizations from across the nation calling for Zimmerman’s arrest. Over 2 million people signed an online petition demanding his arrest. The seeming injustice in the death of the Black youth touched a nerve across the racial divide too, as many Whites also joined in the call for Zimmerman’s arrest. (Digital Journal)

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