trayvon martin george zimmerman
I have to take issue with Rachel Décoste's recent blog, "Racism is Front Page News at the Ottawa Sun," because she unfairly labels the Ottawa Sun's handling of Trayvon Martin's death as racist. In doing so, she trivializes the real issue of racism in our society, and undermines the very cause that she is advocating. There is no evidence that the Ottawa Sun acted in a racist manner and prejudicial manner. And there is no evidence that as a result of such treatment of the Martin matter, the Ottawa Sun is perpetuating inequality in our Canadian society.
When a leading newspaper feels the need to actively denounce worldwide tributes to Trayvon Martin, including President Obama's moving comments on the matter, there is a serious problem. When a the death of a teenager is rationalized by painting him as a pot-smoking thug who happened to get himself killed, things take a turn for the cartoonish. How long will readers of the Ottawa Sun accept this audacious double standard?
I have a confession to make. I did not watch the Travyon Martin case -- live on CNN. I deliberately avoided subjecting myself
Trayvon Martin's parents were savvy enough to understand and then challenge their murdered son's standing in the "court of public opinion." The carefully-chosen photos of a fresh-faced Trayvon Martin told an alternate narrative. The pictures of Trayvon on horseback, on a ski hill, and with his doting father humanized the "hoodlum."
''A teenager is dead. He is dead through no fault of his own. He is dead because another man made assumptions... and unfortunately, because his assumptions were wrong, Trayvon Benjamin Martin no longer walks on this earth.'' This simple statement is the state's most compelling argument for a manslaughter conviction. An innocent teenager died and Zimmerman was his killer as the result of his flawed perceptions and negligent conduct.
In a bold and virtually unprecedented move by the defence, Tracy Martin was called to testify. His evidence was preceded by two Sanford police officers, including the lead investigator, who confirmed that in the days following his teenage son's death, Tracy Martin was unable to identify the voice on the 911 call crying for help. Martin contested the officers' testimony stating that ''I never said it wasn't my son's voice.'' He later concluded that it was his son after listening to the call ''as many as 20 times.''
The ninth day of the second degree murder trial of George Zimmerman was marked by the prosecution closing its case and the first couple of witnesses being called by the defence. The following are six take away points from Day 9.
The prosecution's case has been marked by a parade of errors. It started with overreaching and charging George Zimmerman with second-degree murder. The charge requires evidence of hatred, spite or evil intent and the evidence in the case fell woefully short of that standard. The only possible charge left for the jury to consider is manslaughter.
Dr. Valerie Row, a medical examiner who reviewed the photographs and records of the injuries to George Zimmerman testified that his injuries were insignificant and that they were consistent with "one strike, two injuries at one time.''
The jury has George Zimmerman's complete legal defence presented in his own words. The prosecution introduced four statements Zimmerman provided to the police after the fatal shooting incident. In his statements, Zimmerman described yelling for help as the person (later identified as Trayvon Martin) was ''whaling on my head.'' He placed his hands on Zimmerman's nose and told him that ''you're going to die tonight.'' Zimmerman thought that his assailant was going for his gun and shot him one time.