A special prosecutor’s decision to charge George Zimmerman, the man responsible for the 17-year-old’s Trayvon Martin’s death, has been made. His mother, Sybrina Fulton, 46, “thanked God” for Zimmerman’s arrest today in an emotional press hearing. “We simply wanted an arrest. Nothing more. Nothing less. We just wanted an arrest.”
Martin became a household name over the past month – ever since news spread about how he was gunned down by Zimmerman, a local crime-watch volunteer, while visiting family. Zimmerman thought the 140 pound, 6 foot 3, hoodie-wearing teen looked suspicious and pursued the boy. After chasing him down and an uncertain minute of activity, Zimmerman shot the boy twice. Zimmerman told the police it was self-defense, but evidence of this is still unclear at best. The slain teen only had a bag of skittles, an Arizona tea, and some change in his pocket.
Martin’s parents continue to urge the media and the public to stay focused on their son and not allow his death to become lost in political and racial initiatives. This case has been high-profile for several reasons including the role of neighborhood watch groups, especially with Florida’s Stand Your Ground Rule. In addition, many civil rights groups have become interested and involved due to the racial implications of the profiling prior to the killing, the careless way his father was shown a picture of his son dead in response to the missing persons report put out for Martin, and the 45-day delay in the arrest of Zimmerman.
Social media has been alive with tweets, posts, blogs, and pictures of people from all backgrounds clad in hoodies. In fact, there have even been some the pictures of President Obama and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. clad in the same ‘dark hoodie’ that Zimmerman reported on his 911 call about Martin.
Fulton sees this as a social injustice more so than a racial injustice. In a statement to People magazine earlier this month she said, “People want to make this a black and white issue, but I believe that this is about right and wrong. No one should be shot just because someone else thinks they’re suspicious.”
In the press hearing today, Fulton gave a tearful plea: “I just want to speak from my heart to your heart – because a heart has no color.” This broken heart of a mother whose child was slain at the hand of an overzealous volunteer deserves justice. Not because of her race or because this is a high-profile case – but because any parent that has a child that was murdered deserves answers, response, justice. For the parents of Trayvon Martin, today justice begins.
Â© Les Go, April 2012