Forty five days after seventeen year old Trayvon Martin was shot dead for the crime of looking suspicious as he was walking home with a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, the long and painfully slow arthritic arm of the law finally has reached out to apprehend his murderer. Special prosecutor Angela Corey has finally charged the twenty eight year old Mr. Zimmerman with second degree murder. Mr. Zimmerman has turned himself into the custody of Florida law enforcement.
From the very moment that Mr. Zimmerman called the police to report a suspicious character in his neighborhood this case was suspiciously bizarre. Within minutes Trayvon would be dead from a single gunshot wound to the chest. Although we were told that there were no eyewitnesses who saw what happened, there were plenty of people who heard what was going on between Trayvon and Zimmerman. People heard the pleas for help and called the police to report trouble. Police were on the scene within minutes. But after less than eight hours of investigation, the Sanford police closed the file with the assumption that it was an open and shut case of self defense. Less than eight hours after he killed Trayvon, Mr. Zimmerman was a free man.
For weeks the police dragged their feet, stone walling while Trayvon’s parents searched for answers to the question of what happened to their son. They were told that he attacked somebody and that person defended himself. It wasn’t until the 9-1-1 tapes of Mr. Zimmerman’s call to the police were released did people understand the depth of the perversion that was trying to pass itself off as justice in Sanford, Florida. It was revealed that the bias of the local authorities caused them to actively defend the actions on behalf of Mr. Zimmerman. Bill Lee, he captain of the Sanford police, stood in front of a podium and told everyone that there wasn’t enough evidence to contradict Mr. Zimmerman’s story that he was attacked. But that was before it became so obvious that he was working hard to sweep the whole affair under the rug. Mr. Lee was forced to step aside and Governor Rick Scott appointed Ms. Corey to take over the case.
Suspecting yet another case of a young black man being deprived of his life based on nothing but the prejudice against black people, the community protested on Trayvon’s behalf. No justice, no peace. Tens of thousands of people descended onto Sanford to show their support for Trayvon and his family. The President of the United States had to take a moment to acknowledge his disappointment. People from around the world protested on behalf of Trayvon.
Everyone was advised to be patient and to stop trying to rush to judgment. But forty five days to charge a man for the murder of an unarmed teenager isn’t rushing. In fact, forty five days to charge and arrest a man who was at the scene with a smoking gun in his hand and who confessed on the spot that he had killed somebody that he was stalking just minutes before is agonizingly slow. If Mr. Zimmerman was black, he would have been charged, arrested, and in custody behind bars well within forty five seconds after the police were on the scene. And that’s only if they could restrain themselves from killing him as soon as they arrived.
If anything, the rush to judgment was made back when somebody decided to let Quick Draw McGraw go before Trayvon’s body had sufficient time to grow cold. The rush to judgment was made by George Zimmerman when he jumped out of his car with his gun making a clear choice to create a situation that would result in the loss of somebody’s life. And since he was the only one armed it was a foregone conclusion that the young black man that caught Mr. Zimmerman’s eye would be the one that would lose his life.
It took twenty days from the time she was assigned to the case for the special prosecutor and her team to gather enough evidence and information to put together a case they felt was strong enough to bring charges against Mr. Zimmerman. If nothing else, it sounds like they took their time to uncover all the particulars of what happened that night. It sounds like they were a lot more thorough than the keystone cops that spent less time than the number of hours in a normal workday investigating the death of a black teenager that night back in February.
All of the protest that was made that others try to dismiss as a simplistic rush for judgment was anything but. The protests were pleas for somebody to step in and make the corrections necessary to put the train that wrecked the night Trayvon was murdered back on track. And now that the train is back it looks like justice will actually get a chance to put right what went horribly wrong.