George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. That much is a clear fact. He admits to doing so and so there is no question as to who killed Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman claimed self defense and was not arrested. Under Florida law, self-defense is very admissible even on a public street and so the local sheriff chose not to arrest Zimmerman.
The State of Florida and the United States Justice Department are now stepping in and evidence seems to be rather damning to Zimmerman. In the 911 call Zimmerman made to police, he stated that he was following Martin----and was told not to do so. In a phone conversation recently made public by Martin’s girlfriend, she claimed that Martin was getting scared because Zimmerman was coming toward him. Martin, who was armed only with Skittles, felt he was in mortal danger----and he was.
I’ve had several thoughts, the first being that self-defense, while a potentially valid defense, in a questionable scenario, which this seems to be, should be determined in court. If the sheriff arrested Zimmerman there was a chance for the truth to come out and justice to prevail. The sheriff, however, simply determined to not make the arrest. I do not understand this.
More significantly, however, has been the role of social media and the potential benefits and potential dangers.
The potential danger, of course, is this kind of free speech allows information and misinformation to flow freely. There is a lot of really excellent information passed along on the Internet; there is also a great deal of truly bad information passed along on the Internet. Additionally, there can be loud cries for things simply not true and authorities cannot make their decisions totally on what people on Facebook want them to do.
However, the potential benefits are very much present. In the case of Trayvon Martin no arrest was made and George Zimmerman had nothing to fear-----except social media has kept a potential injustice alive and has made people in authority take another look.
When one hears the cries of Trayvon Martin in the last seconds of his life, that can only be a good thing.