*This time last year millions of people marched for justice for Trayvon Martin.
Most people hadn’t heard the 9-1-1 audio from residents who called to report cries for help outside their homes that February night Martin was shot and killed.
And they had not heard George Zimmerman’s call to police to report what he considered to be a suspicious person walking in his neighborhood just minutes before he and confronted Martin who was unarmed. Altercations and 9-1-1 distress calls occur everyday.
What got people angry and what sparked them to action was the fact that Zimmerman disobeyed a direct order by law enforcement to not follow Martin, fought with him, shot and killed him then was allowed to walk away without being charged with any crime. It was a slap in the face of all that we call justice.
Trayvon Martin was somebody’s son. He could have been mine or yours. So if his killer did not have to face criminal charges, an indictment and a fair trial – due process of the law – your family member or mine could be victimized next. So we let our feet and our fingers do the talking. State prosecutors felt the pressure and charged Zimmerman with murder two months after the shooting. And the police chief in Sanford, FL was forced to resign. But that was not the end.
Jury selection is underway for Zimmerman’s trial. And if past verdicts are any indication of future results the outcome of Zimmerman’s trial is anything but predictable. The Rodney King trial had videotaped evidence of LAPD officers beating him and they still were acquitted; there were dozens of eye witnesses when Oscar Grant was shot in his back (and killed) by a BART police officer as he lay face down and handcuffed on the train platform. That BART officer got just two years; and Zimmerman’s case has plenty of evidence that can be manipulated to prove whatever the defense might want jurors to see.
If the people who upheld the law in Sanford, Florida were willing to let Zimmerman walk away free what makes you think there aren’t twelve jurors who are willing to acquit him, despite the evidence against him? Now is the time to keep the spotlight on Sanford and the George Zimmerman trial. Justice for Trayvon Martin is a step towards justice for all. Drum-majors for justice can’t sleep.
Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Send comments, questions and speaking inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.