Three Years – Remembering Trayvon Martin
Racerrodig asked that I open a thread so people can share remembrance and their thoughts on how we heard about the death of Trayvon Martin. He also suggested that we discuss how it affects us and what we do to make relations better. Thank you, Racerodig, for your willingness to share with others.
It’s not often that I write opinion or editorial pieces, but today I’m compelled to do so in remembering Trayvon. The announcement by the Department of Justice was not limited to not charging George Zimmerman with violating Trayvon’s civil rights. The announcement included more, and I would like to address that.
In its written announcement, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder wrote:
“The death of Trayvon Martin was a devastating tragedy. It shook an entire community, drew the attention of millions across the nation, and sparked a painful but necessary dialogue throughout the country,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Though a comprehensive investigation found that the high standard for a federal hate crime prosecution cannot be met under the circumstances here, this young man’s premature death necessitates that we continue the dialogue and be unafraid of confronting the issues and tensions his passing brought to the surface. We, as a nation, must take concrete steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future.”
Many of us have experienced that anyone who participates in the necessary dialogue is targeted for destruction by a small group of individuals who believe there is a conspiracy which they call the “BGI.” No one has been destroyed however, and all of their efforts have not stopped the necessary dialogue. The best dialogue I’ve witnessed has taken place on this blog respectfully, and between diverse people. Some of us even have diverse spiritual beliefs, but all of them are based on doing no harm, respecting life, and promoting equality for all regardless of race, gender, sexual preference, age.
The painful but necessary dialogue begins with recognizing that people kill other people, and when that happens, citizens rely on law enforcement to impartially investigate.
We say that everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, but what drew the attention of millions across this nation is that Trayvon was judged guilty even before his killer was arrested. Even George Zimmerman’s attorneys participated in the social media slander of the deceased. That behavior is also part of the necessary dialogue. Please notice that I use the word “behavior.” I do so because such behavior comes with motivations.
Attorney Holder has stated that we must be unafraid of confronting the issues and tensions that Trayvon’s death brought to the surface. To do that, we must first identify the issues and tensions. Attorney Holder did not identify those issues and tensions in the announcement. Is there any question what those issues and tensions are? As Lisa Bloom tweeted today,
“It did not begin or end with Trayvon, but the attention to his case woke many up to evils of racial bias, gun violence & Stand Your Ground.”
According to Attorney Holder, as a nation, we must take concrete steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future. That is within our individual authority for our own actions, but not within our authority when the actions of others result in the same incidents that led to Trayvon’s death.
We, as a nation, find that when the states don’t get it right, that we are subject to the highest law enforcement agency in the nation to investigate such incidents. What we have witnessed as a nation is that in the State of Michigan, prosecutors challenged the reasonableness of fear when Ted Wafer fired a shotgun into the face of 19-year old Renisha McBride. Wafer was convicted for murdering Renisha McBride.
We witnessed prosecutors challenge the amount of deliberate thought that Michael Dunn took when shooting at a vehicle containing 4 teens that was driving off . That challenge convinced a jury to convict Dunn of 3 counts of attempted second degree murder. We witnessed those same prosecutors challenge Dunn’s story that the door of the vehicle was opened when he fired shots at Jordan Davis. His decisions and actions thereafter were challenged, and the jury returned a verdict of first degree murder in the killing of Jordan Davis.
Yet, those same prosecutors during George Zimmerman’s trial failed to challenge Zimmerman’s own story that included that he wiggled his head off the concrete, which caused his shirt to raise exposing his gun. Logically, there was no further threat of Zimmerman having his head bashed on concrete, although he maintained that was his fear causing him to use self-defense. Zimmerman told investigators that when he unholstered his gun, that he had pinned Trayvon’s arm to prevent Trayvon from getting the gun. He also stated on Hannity’s program that he was afraid that the cops would arrive and find him holding his gun and shoot him. Why would Zimmerman be “holding” his gun if it was all a spur of the moment decision to shoot Trayvon in self-defense?
Zimmerman said that he took time to aim so he wouldn’t shoot his own hand. Prosecutors questioned Adam Pollock at trial, and Pollock testified that there was no way Zimmerman could have made a shot in Trayvon’s heart from the physical position that Zimmerman said he was in at the time that he fired his gun.
The nation witnessed that those same prosecutors did not present Dunn’s interview with the police until after Dunn took the witness stand, forcing him to give his own version of events and reasons. Yet, they played all of Zimmerman’s police interviews for the jury, making it possible for there to be no need for Zimmerman to take the witness stand and be cross-examined.
Honorable Attorney Holder, if we as a nation are to continue the dialogue and be unafraid of confronting the issues, then it must include the issue of prosecutors and juries on the state level. What we have witnessed as a nation most recently, is that the Department of Justice has taken a position of being inspectors rather than investigators. Citizens receive a report of the inspection that essentially says that there are bugs in the cracks, but not enough to justify using the highest form of insecticide to flush them out to the open.
I will always remember Trayvon Martin, and my best wishes are with his family to continue fighting the good fight, the right fight, and in the right manner. There is strength through struggle.
Posted on 02/26/2015, in Conceal Carry & SYG, Department of Justice, Encouragement for Trayvon's Family, Justice For Trayvon and tagged civil rights, Department of Justice, DOJ, Eric Holder, remembrance, Trayvon Martin. Bookmark the permalink. 70 Comments.