The Florida special prosecutor, Angela Corey, has decided to charge George Zimmerman with second-degree murder for the death of Trayvon Martin. Mr. Zimmerman is in custody as an arrest warrant was also issued against him.
Mr. Martin’s family has expressed thanks for the developments; however, there is a lot of work ahead to prepare for and go through a trial. The possibility of the State not being able to prove its murder case beyond a reasonable doubt remains. But at least the system took notice to investigate the circumstances that resulted in Mr. Martin being shot and killed.
In listening to ABC’s This Week, it seems to be an argument expressed as why people are upset about Trayvon Martin’s death, when other Black males are killed (by other Black males) without the same level of attention. On its face, it seems that this type of argument (put forward in this instance by George Will) is insightful when it is not.
One read of this sentiment can be viewed that the person who says it views Black males as fungible, that is, one Black male is the same as another. This view, at its root, strips Black people of humanity.
I think a much better view is to view each case separately rather than trying to aggregate different situations together.
[Sidenote: George Will also argued that the institutions should be given time to work. This statement seems to be boilerplate because what can the institutions do when the evidence was not collected? The task force seems to be a delaying tactic. What can the task force realistically do at this point?]
[Update 7-15-13: After deliberating about 16 hours, and listening to the evidence in the approximately 14-business-day trial, a jury determined that George Zimmerman was not guilty of both murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.]
In an article about the marches to respond to the events leading to and following the death of Trayvon Martin, a Washington Post article seems to express a disbelief that people are still affected by negative behavior because of their skin color even when the president is African American, the attorney general is Black, and the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division is Hispanic (a national origin, not a race).
I don’t think that the non-White racial identification of government leadership is relevant in a situation where a Black person is killed and the known shooter will likely not receive any arrest, trial, or penalty for it. In addition, as I mentioned in a previous post, the so-called post-racial era never existed. It is impossible where Whites are the preferred race and dominant population.
What happened to Mr. Martin is shocking to me–a surprise that such an event is still occurring in 2012.It suggests that for a Black person simply living his or her own life is at risk of being killed as a result of the anxieties or false beliefs of someone else.
Zimmerman was not arrested, and I am not sure whether a case can be made against him now. The Sanford, Fla., Police Department effectively closed the case until the recent news coverage reopened the case. While I hope that charges can be filed against Zimmerman, with the poor preliminary police work and evidence gathering, I am not sure if charges can be filed that will strong enough to succeed in court.