The social media crowd is all a buzz about the Zimmerman trial and the general tone has racism at the core of this tragedy. The Zimmerman trial is NOT about race.
As the jury in the Sanford Florida courthouse is deliberating for more than 10 hours now, to decide the fate of George Zimmerman, who is accused of 2nd degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, there is much discussion through social media that Zimmerman's actions were racially prompted. The judge would not let the actions be called racial profiling in court.
It was clearly profiling at it's best and race was one of the components in the profile, but not the sole criteria, so it was not racial profiling.
This profiling was based on Trayvon Martin being a 17 year old black kid in a hoodie, walking home through the wrong neighborhood, with skittles in his pocket and George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch commander and wannabe cop perusing him with a fully loaded semi-automatic pistol because Martin fit the description of other criminals. Zimmerman, who is accused of acting with unnecessary force against the unarmed teenager, shot and killed him.
One might be compelled to assume at first glance that this was an act of racism. It was actually the case of an overzealous neighborhood watch commander playing cops and robbers; who was erroneously profiling a teenage boy based on the perpetrators of previous crimes in his area and he did not know when to quit and let fully trained authorities handle the matter.
Reports of previous burglaries in the area had indicated suspects were blacks in hoodies and so was Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman had been to the neighborhood watch meetings where these recent crime suspects were discussed giving him cause to suspect Martin. Profiling criminals based on the evidence is considered to be good police work, enabling officers to detect similarities and apprehend criminals.
George Zimmerman would have been applauded for good police work by noting the similarities, watching the possible criminal and alerting authorities. This is not racism considering the facts.
The good work ends there. George Zimmerman was instructed to stay in his vehicle. He was clearly instructed by the 911 operator on tape to remain in his car. Since he chose not to follow those instructions, George Zimmerman is culpable for the resulting occurrences. This is an issue of choosing to stay in your car, not stand your ground and therein should lie the verdict.
Zimmerman would not have had to defend himself if he had stayed in his car and not pursued.
Justifiable homicide cases have tripled since this stand your ground law was enacted in Florida, 73% of those killed were black and the shooter walked away, while 59% of those killed were whites. According to the law, stand your ground does not apply if you are not in your home or if you are able to flee to find protection. One should try to escape before deciding to use deadly force..
In February 2012 George Zimmerman could have gone before a judge for a stand your ground hearing and have the shooting adjudicated as self defense and thrown out before if ever came to trial, but Zimmerman did not. Zimmerman must not have felt he had a case for self defense. Does he have a case now?
George Zimmerman will be found guilty of 2nd degree murder or guilty of manslaughter or found not guilty at all. That should have no affect on race relations in Denver and across the United States, but what do you bet it will?