Trayvon Martin, a teenager, was walking back to his father’s fiancé’s house, located in the gated community that George Zimmerman was guarding.
Trayvon became aware that a man, George Zimmerman, was following him. The teen tried to get away from George Zimmerman. This was evident by an audio tape of Zimmerman breathing heavily when he admitted to the 911 operator that he was following Martin. The 911 operator instructed Zimmerman to stop pursuing Martin.
This pursuit ended when Zimmerman took the teenager’s life, because Trayvon Martin tried to stand his ground.
George Zimmerman did not use the Stand Your Ground defense. However Florida’s Stand Your Ground law could have been legally applied to protect George Zimmerman. Regardless, today he is a free man.
The question most Americans are asking, why this same law did not apply to Trayvon Martin?
Trayvon was an unarmed teenager who was woefully aware that a man was following him. It’s a natural human instinct for anyone to become worried for his or her safety if a stranger is following behind.
The state of Florida implemented the Stand Your Ground law to give people the right to not retreat when a person feels that a physical attack is about to take place. Instead, that person has the legal right to use force to stop impending physical harm before it happens.
If Florida’s Stand Your Ground law gives a person the right to stand their ground by using force, without having to retreat, then it seems that the state of Florida ignored Trayvon’s right to stand his ground and use force to protect himself.
Zimmerman admitted to pursuing Trayvon on foot. Upon Trayvon and Zimmerman meeting, Trayvon used force to protect himself from an unknown man who was following him.
Trayvon Martin was simply walking back to his father’s home. Zimmerman was armed, and maybe this fact gave him the courage to initiate a threat by following Martin. But the question still remains unanswered, why was Trayvon not allowed the right to stand his ground?
It is a well-known fact that dead people can’t talk. This means that without witnesses, authorities can only obtain one side of the story that led up to a shooting.
A dead person cannot reveal their side of the story, which might be the only truth. This reality alone offers strong evidence regarding why Stand Your Ground laws must change.
The United States is becoming the home of domestic terrorism, due to uncontrolled gun violence. Is this what we want?