As the opening arguments in the trial of George Zimmerman begin, there is a feeling of unrest in the African-American community. Justice has been less than favorable to us in these yet-to-be United States. I pray continued healing for Trayvon Martin and his family, but how can we not think about Sumner, Mississippi (Emmitt Till), Simi Valley, California (Rodney King) or New York City (Sean Bell).
George Zimmerman admitted to shooting 17-year old Trayvon Martin in the chest with a 9-mm. handgun after calling police and later exiting his truck to confront the teenager on the night of February 12, 2012 in Sanford, Florida.
Six women — five white and one Hispanic — will hear arguments in the case. Four alternates — two men and two women, two white and two Hispanic — have also been selected. The trial could last anywhere from two to four weeks.
The prosecution is arguing Zimmerman profiled Martin as he walked back from the store to the house of his father’s fiancee’. Zimmerman claims Martin circled back and attacked him as he went back to his truck — punching him in the face and slamming his head on the sidewalk. Photos taken that night show Zimmerman with a broken nose and bruises and cuts to the back of his head. The defense’s argument is Zimmerman exercised his right to Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law — which states a person may justifiably use excessive force if there is belief of an unlawful threat — without an obligation to retreat first.
Let’s just say I have very little confidence in the outcome of this trial. One reason is the phone call made by an eyewitness the night of the shooting will be admitted as evidence, but the prosecution’s audio experts — who determined the screaming voice heard before the gunshot was that of Martin — will not be admitted. It doesn’t take a court room expert to identify this as a key piece of evidence.
Judge Debra Nelson ruled prosecutors could not say Zimmerman profiled Martin, but rather took his age and attire into account prior to approaching Martin. The attire Nelson speaks of is Martin’s hoodie — the symbol of protests and rallies around the country — while Zimmerman ran free for 44 days before being arrested.
African-American youth are being sacrificed daily in this country. Whether through the closings of dozens of schools in Chicago and Philadelphia or by gun homicide — the number one cause of death among African-American teens. America mourns selectively for it’s children. More school children died from gunfire in the city of Chicago in 2012 (24) than the twenty children who perished in the Sandy Hook Shooting on December 14, 2012.
Comparisons like this shouldn’t have to be made out of respect for the families whose lives have been changed forever. But something has to be said for the lack of compassion for a loss of life in the African-American community — especially one belonging to a child. The only reason America knew of slain Chicago student Hadiya Pendleton is because she performed at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
President Barack Obama, a Chicago native who openly wept for the children of Newtown, CT.
Sanford, Florida is on the clock.
Doc Rivers is joining the LA Clippers (LA Times).
Parents of Trayvon Martin speak before the trial begins (CBS).
Roger Federer seeks 8th singles title at Wimbledon (Huff Post).
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are engaged (IFWT).
Details into Lil’ Snupe’s murder (IFWT).
This day in the NBA (Basketball Reference).
Where do the C’s go from here (Pro Basketball Talk).
Nike Air Yeezy 2 giveaway (Nike Blog).
I can’t, I don’t and I won’t…