Justice for Trayvon Martin

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So who has heard about the Trayvon Martin case? That might be more of a rhetorical question seeing as how everyone seems to have heard about it.
Anyway, for those of you who have been hiding under a rock here is what happened.
Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old high school student, was walking home from a local convenience store in Florida when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch chief. Trayvon was armed with only a bag of skittles and a bottle of iced tea.
While some African-Americans are making this out to be an issue of race, and I do not doubt the fact that there is a race issue here, I think another key issue is the fact that Zimmerman is claiming he shot Trayvon in self-defense, that he has not been arrested, and that there is a law in the state of Florida that allows an individual to use deadly force against another if they are in fear of their personal safety.
This Stand Your Ground Law basically states that if you fear that someone is about to kill or injure you in a public place and you are legally armed, you can use deadly force to save your life without fear of a murder charge.
I understand that law and I think it was passed with good intentions, to stop muggers, rapes and random acts of violence. My problem is that this seems to have been a random act of violence on Zimmerman’s part, not Martin’s.
Martin was walking through a gated community coming home from the convenience store when Zimmerman saw him. Zimmerman called the police and was told not to confront Martin, but to wait until help arrived.
Zimmerman then proceeded to get out of his car and confront Martin. It was after this that Zimmerman shot Martin. I just do not think this can be called self-defense.
Self-defense should be when someone attacks you, not when you confront them.
Not only is Zimmerman claiming self-defense when he confronted Martin, but Zimmerman was in violation of numerous Neighborhood Watch regulations including the rule that states “it should be emphasized to members that they do not possess police powers, and they shall not carry weapons or pursue vehicles.”
It seems to me that Zimmerman is a control freak who either took his self-appointed job way to seriously, or someone who likes to view himself as someone with a lot of power. This “power” went much too far to his head and because of it an innocent teenage boy is dead.
Zimmerman needs to be charged in this case. He shot and killed someone after he was told not to confront him.
From what reports indicate Martin was not causing any trouble. He was minding his own business, talking on the phone to a female friend and was confronted and killed for no reason.
To those who may speak to the stereotype that it was an African-American youth who looked as though he did not belong and this is the reason Zimmerman chose to attack him, I think that is still no excuse to gun someone down in cold blood.
Murder is still murder and the facts that have come out seem to indicate that there was more of a claim to self-defense for Martin than for Zimmerman.
Zimmerman needs to take responsibility for his actions and if he is not, then the law should take responsibility for him and should punish him in ways according to his crime.
We as Americans should learn to not judge others by the color of their skin. But this distrust and stereotyping might have cost this young boy his life.
Justice needs to be served in this case and I am counting on the state of Florida to make it happen.

Comments and questions about this column can be sent to opinions@mercercluster.com