On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, teenager was killed by a neighborhood watch member as he was walking to his father’s home in a multiracial gated community. The case has gained national attention, as George Zimmerman, the man who admitted to shooting and killing him, was not arrested or charged. Zimmerman claimed he felt threatened and cited self-defense as the reason for shooting Martin, despite the fact that he was advised by the 911 police dispatcher not to pursue Martin. The police investigation was botched beyond belief. The Sanford, Florida police department allowed Zimmerman to leave with the murder weapon and presented his version of events to the media as fact.
In a few short weeks, the outrage surrounding the Trayvon Martin tragedy is proving to be larger than the outrage surrounding the Emmett Till tragedy. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Emmett Till tragedy, Emmett Till was a young black boy who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955 for reportedly whistling or flirting with a young white woman. Emmett Till was 14-years old. Several nights later, the woman’s husband and his half-brother arrived at Till’s great-uncle’s house where they took Till, transported him to a barn, beat him and gouged out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River with a 70-pound weight around his neck with barbed wire. His body was discovered and retrieved from the river three days later.
Due to social media and a 24/7 immediate news cycle, this case is evolving at a rapid pace and has garnered world wide attention. Martin’s death has stirred national outrage and protests around the country. The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI have opened an investigation into the case.
Trayvon’s parents have been amazingly focused and calm as they seek justice for their son. Trayvon’s mother told a crowd in New York City that the effort to seek justice for Trayvon’s “was not a black and white thing, but a right and wrong thing.” This young man’s murder is connecting with people of all races and economic backgrounds.
We we will post occasional commentaries and opinion pieces about this case. If you want to stay up-to-date on this case we suggest you visit The Huffington Post’s Trayvon Martin Tragedy Page located at www.huffingtonpost.com/news/trayvon-martin.