In case you’ve been living under a rock, Trayvon Martin was a 17 yr old teen, in Sanford, Fl, who was killed by a neighborhood watch captain who said Trayvon looked “suspicious”. The watch “captain” George Zimmerman while still enraged from previous burglaries in the community saw the hoodie-wearing teen and began following him while he called the police. While speaking to the dispatcher, Zimmerman was warned not to follow the teen but he continued to chase, stating “They always get away”. Noticing he was being followed, Martin began to run from the pursuing Zimmerman and while the details of the following events are unclear two things are certain: #1 Trayvon was in the neighborhood visiting his father and #2 He was unarmed. He was only carrying the now symbolic, bag of Skittles candy and a can of Iced Tea. Neighbors heard the two fighting behind the houses and called police. On the 911 recordings you can clearly hear one of the two cry out for help. Trayvon’s mother insists that it was the voice of her son. Moments later gunshots can be heard and Trayvon was dead.
The outcry from this case comes from the fact that the admitted killer George Zimmerman, still one month later, not been arrested or charged with the murder of Trayvon Martin. The hesitation comes from Florida’s “Stand your Ground” Self Defense law. I’m not a lawyer and I haven’t personally read the law so I can’t comment on the legality of it but, just because it’s legal, doesn’t make it right.
Even though the case is still ongoing this does show the power of social media. The case, largely ignored by mainstream media, was brought to the forefront by numerous Facebook and Twitter campaigns as well as a record breaking petition on Change.org, which to date has received over two million signatures. Supporters in nearly every major city used Facebook and Twitter to organise rallies across the country. Despite changing locations, I was impressed by the number of citizens who came out and marched to City Hall in Baltimore last night. I hope that regardless of the outcome we can continue to stand up and rally when we feel something ain’t right.
Were you at the rally last night or one in your city? What are your thoughts on the case? Let us know in the comments.