Trayvon Martin: A Teenager Profiled and Killed While Walking Home
Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman
Imagine walking home one evening, after making a random visit to the corner store for snacks, and you notice someone in a truck is following you. The sun has gone down and after a couple of blocks, you notice the same truck is still following you. What do you do? Run? Call the police? After brief contemplation, you decide to call a friend. After a few minutes of talking on the phone, you realize the person is still following you and you decide to run. This is the scenario young Trayvon Martin was faced with one rainy evening in Sanford, Florida, only a few weeks after his 17th birthday.
George Zimmerman was the man in the truck following the teenager. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman decided Trayvon was up to no good and called 911 as he followed close behind. The dispatcher advised Zimmerman not to follow the young man; the neighborhood watchman ignored the directive and continued to follow the teenager. When the scared teen began to run, Zimmerman got out of his truck with a loaded gun and proceeded to chase the teenager. At some point, a confrontation took place and neighbors in the surrounding community became alarmed as screams for help filled the night air. There were several calls to 911, in which one of the calls captured the screams for help and the gunshot. Then suddenly silence, the cries for help ended with the gunshot. That night when police arrived, Zimmerman was questioned and sent home, meanwhile, Trayvon's body was sent to the morgue.
After nationwide protest and nearly a year and a half since the night, Zimmerman made the decision to follow Trayvon Martin, the case goes to trial. A trial in which professional voice analysts were not permitted to testify, confirming whose voice it was on the 911 recording, and the murdered victim was made to be the criminal. In 16.5 hours of deliberation, Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges. The man who, with a loaded gun, aggressively followed, chased, fought, and killed an innocent person was able to claim self-defense and escape any penalty for taking the life of a young man who was simply walking home.
Since this heart-wrenching story began, there have been many involved with the case required to pay a penalty for what transpired that night. The police chief in Sanford, Florida in charge of the investigation was fired soon after the details involving the initial dismissal were discovered. Before the actual trial began, Zimmerman fired his original attorney and later the medical examiner, which handled the autopsy and testified in the trial, was fired soon after the trial ended. Many people, other than the person who pulled the trigger, paid a price.
Since the verdict, George Zimmerman has been making headlines visiting a manufacturer who makes guns similar to the one used in the killing. He has also been pulled over twice for speeding and his divorce is pending. Recently being cleared of a murder charge, it would be appropriate for Zimmerman to live out his days more humbled and definitely less in the media, but no this would not be the case. In fact, recently there was another call made to 911, this time the soon to be ex-wife of Zimmerman was on the other line. Police was dispatched to what was a domestic issue between the couple, in which claims were made Zimmerman was threatening to use his gun and had busted the nose of his wife's father. The charges were soon dropped, however, it is likely drama will continue to involve George Zimmerman; a man who made an assumption took a life and walked away.