Standing your groundMarch 20, 2012 @ 8:59 am (Updated: 9:07 am - 3/20/12 )
A grand jury is now going to investigate the shooting of that unarmed teenager last month in a gated community in Sanford Florida.
911 dispatcher: What is your--
Caller: There's gunshots.
-sound of gunshots-
911 dispatcher: You just heard gunshots?
That was the sound of a self-appointed neighborhood watcher named George Zimmerman, shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who is black.
He claimed self-defense and the local police decided not to arrest him -- which is why the boy's family demanded a federal investigation.
But the feds can't punish Zimmerman for the boy's death. They can only punish him if they find he was deliberately targeting blacks. So they'll be examining the numerous calls he's made to the cops when he's seen suspicious people -- like this call:
911 dispatcher: What do they look like? Are they white, black or hispanic?
Zimmerman: Black males. Two black males in their late teens.
But does that indicate prejudice? Or is it just a description?
As for the shooting itself, under Florida's Stand Your Ground law all a defendant has to do is provide facts to show "his resort to force could have been reasonable."
Which is exactly what Zimmerman did in the minutes before he fired:
Zimmerman: Now he's coming towards me. He's got his hand in his waistband.
A it turned out all the kid had was Skittles, Ice Tea and a cell phone, which according to one report he was using to tell his girlfriend this strange man was following him.
In fact, under Florida's law, Trayvon Martin might have been able to make a case for standing HIS ground. He might have been justified in drawing his gun. But being 17, he wasn't legally allowed to carry one.
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