The will of the people has started a movement that has taken on a life of its own. There were protests today at Miami Carol City HIgh School, where Trayvon was enrolled last year, and Miami Northwestern High School. The protest got a little out of hand at Carol City as students took to the street rather than confining the protest to school grounds. It was refreshing to see young people engaged in a positive show of strength and support.
Before the close of the day, mainstream media showed the huge crowd that converged on Sanford. Estimates are that 25 to 30 thousand protestors were present. The anticipation of the huge crowd forced the move of the rally to a city park.
Before the decision to change venue was made, the majority of the Sanford City Council cast a vote of ‘no-confidence’ in Police Chief Bill Lee. Before the rallies today, Chief Lee announced he was temporarily stepping down as his involvement in the situation had become a distraction. That was seen as a positive move but not really acceptable to Trayvon Martin’s parents and the protestors.
It’s also important to note that Gov. Rick Scott appointed a new special prosecutor, Angela Corey, and will establish a task force to be headed by Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll and Rev. R.B. Holmes as vice chair.
State leadership has been put on notice that the eyes of the nation are on this situation and will follow it through to its completion. We will not accept a kangaroo committee that will try to sanitize its findings.
Stand Your Ground Law
Another important issue that has gained a lot of national attention is Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law that Sanford Police used as rationale for not arresting George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s judge, jury and executioner. Over complaints by many legislators in the House, the law was approved in 2005 by then Gov. Jeb Bush who asserted it was ‘common sense’. The Florida Senate passed it 37-0.
The law, it was projected, would be a license to kill. Since its passage, it has become just that. Without the national microscope generated by the murder of Trayvon Martin, more than 60 people have been killed using Stand Your Ground as the shooter’s defense.
Once again, Floridians look like idiots and/or racists in the eyes of the world. To make matters worse, the questionable investigative tactics by the Sanford Police taint the entire case. So much so, Trayvon Martin’s family were left to enlist their own investigative tactics to discover key evidence. That’s just messy.
Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, discovered the cell phone call to Trayvon’s girlfriend during the time Trayvon was trying to escape George Zimmerman. The police allowed Zimmerman to leave the scene of the incident without retaining his clothing as evidence since there was supposed to blood on him from a scuffle with Trayvon. The police also had Trayvon’s remains tested for drugs and alcohol and did not subject Zimmerman to the same tests.
It doesn’t take a legal scholar to see those blunders were either investigative incompetence or bias or both. This situation will not be resolved quickly. Stay tuned. Stay alert.