On February 26, 2012 Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Florida high school student, was shot and killed in Sanford. According to the Sanford police report, George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, tells police he killed Martin in self-defense. He first called in to report a suspicious male walking through the neighborhood wearing a hoodie. He proceeded to follow him even after the police told him not to.
Several eyewitnesses reported to police that they heard a scuffle, then a cry for help and then a gunshot. Martin was pronounced dead at the scene. He had no weapons on him, only a pack of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea. Zimmerman has yet to be arrested.
The African American community is outraged. However, I think it is just as important, if not more, to recognize that the parents have lost their son. Any mother and father can understand just how Trayvon’s parents feel.
Racism is very much alive in this country. But let’s look deeper. A young life was taken and justice is blatantly not being served. It is obvious that race plays a huge part in this case but what is even more devastating is the negligence of the police department. Does an innocent life really must be sacrificed for a few police jobs?
The community is not being silenced. Across the country people have been wearing hoodies and posting pictures on social media sites in honor of Trayvon. There have also been protests held with hopes of an arrest. Many public figures are being criticized for their part in the protest. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Illinois, told House members, “racial profiling has to stop.” Rush took off his suit jacket, pulled a gray hoodie on over his head and put on sunglasses. He said, “Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.” If it takes a congressman to be removed from a meeting in the White House for wearing a hoodie for George Zimmerman to be arrested then so be it.