Because we’re only as just, as honest, as fair, or as mentally stable as the George Zimmermans among us. Our police are only as good as their most incompetent peers. The same for our lawyers and judges and leaders.
George Zimmerman, the man who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has never been taken into custody. His account of the events that found him shooting an un-armed black student were taken as fact by the police who responded. Zimmerman claims self-defense. Witnesses within ear-shot say Martin cried for help before he died.
Zimmerman leads his Neighborhood Watch. He’d called police 46 times since the beginning of the year. On the day he killed Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman had crossed over into delusional vigilante of imagined trespasses. Excerpted from Think Progress:
Zimmerman called the police to report Martin’s “suspicious” behavior, which he described as “just walking around looking about.” Zimmerman was in his car when he saw Martin walking on the street. He called the police and said: “There’s a real suspicious guy. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about… These a**holes always get away” [Orlando Sentinel]
Zimmerman pursued Martin against the explicit instructions of the police dispatcher:
Dispatcher: “Are you following him?”
Dispatcher: “OK, we don’t need you to do that.”
Clearly, Zimmerman is mentally unstable. That doesn’t excuse his crime. But it does expose another layer to the issues of race, power, and justice in America. Why is no one holding Zimmerman accountable? Because he’s not black? And why hasn’t anyone hauled him in for a psychiatric evaluation? Is it because he’s not quite white, either?
LaMonique Hamilton writes about the case from a very personal place. A place I know I can’t, try as I might. But Trayvon Martin is my son, too. And he’s yours. He’s your son, America. What will you do with him?
- What Everyone Should Know About About Trayvon Martin (1995-2012) (thinkprogress.org)
- 911 Calls Released In Death Of Trayvon Martin (miami.cbslocal.com)