Saturday, March 31, 2012

Justice for Trayvon Martin

On Thusday, I marched for justice in the Trayvon Martin case.

Justice. That's all I want.

In my opinion, George Zimmerman should be arrested and tried for his actions in Martin's death. What he should be charged with, I can't say. He may be guilty of manslaughter; he may even be guilty of a hate crime. And because of all his previous 911 calls for things that seem insane to me, I think his sanity should be evaluated by a state-appointed psychiatrist.

But, I don't have all the facts. No one does right now. And as much I have disgust for the man I heard using a racial slur on the 911 tape -- who by his own admission, followed and killed an unarmed teenager -- he should not be judged by public opinion, especially when there's still so many questions left unanswered.

That's the problem with how this case is being played out. Bits and pieces of evidence become public and people jump to judgements. A lot of the time, the "evidence" isn't evidence, at all. It's an anonymous witness or Zimmerman's father (who wasn't even there that night). It's a picture of Martin that turns out not to be Martin, as if how he once posed in a picture has any shred of relevance to his terrible death.

I read the comments to news stories. People comment on hearsay as if it's undisputed fact. People use the assault on Martin's reputation as justification for his death. People are cruel, ignorant and biased. And my gosh, our country is racist.

If and when this case actually goes to trial, I imagine the lawyers will have a hard time finding jurors who haven't formed opinions on Zimmerman's guilt or innocence. Most of those opinions will be based on inaccurate information.

As a journalist, I know that despite my obsessive following of this story and my knowledge of what information reported is fact, what is conjecture and what is just outright misinformation from unreliable sources, I still only have a small part of the whole story.

That's why I marched for Trayvon Martin. I want justice to be done -- justice that this case will go to trial and Zimmerman's guilt or innocence will be decided by the legal system, and the legal system alone.

Gathering for Trayvon Martin at William Land Park in Sacramento, California on March 29, 2012


Recommended reads: What is known, what isn't about Trayvon Martin's death via Miami Herald

Read more here:
Marcos Breton: A hoodie didn't kill Trayvon Martin; Zimmerman's gun did via Sacramento Bee

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