Much of the talk since the George Zimmerman verdict has been on Florida’s stand your ground law. Some people dispute that the statute played a part in the verdict. Actually, it did, as it sets up a self-defense as a legal claim before a person even acts. And Zimmerman was acquitted on the theory of self-defense.
The stand your ground law is a bad law. Law enforcement officials opposed it on the grounds that it would lead to vigilantism. It needs to be repealed.
White people are surprised and even distressed by the anger of the black community over the acquittal. But this anger comes from experiences far different than those given white people. Black people are harassed and profiled on a regular basis. Police will stop a black motorist for no reason other than the motorist is black.
And when a black teenager’s death is not addressed by the law, black people rightly fear that their own children are just as vulnerable.
Two people had a confrontation. Only one of them, George Zimmerman, lived to give his side of it. But it is clear that Trayvon Martin was doing nothing illegal. He was simply walking home from the store when he was followed and harassed by Zimmerman.
His death is a waste. Zimmerman should have been held legally accountable. Justice was not served.