To The Daily Sun,
On Tuesday I sat and read my newspaper, and also The Citizen. Of course there were letters regarding the Zimmerman case and I wasn't at all surprised that these letter writers actually sided with Zimmerman. On Wednesday my faith in people was restored somewhat.
You see one person said what Travyon was guilty of was "not running away". Why should he have run away? He had as much right to walk down the street as anyone else. He was there visiting with his family who resided there. Then the other letter that astonished me totally blamed Travyon but did not even make a reference to the fact that all this needlessly took place because Mr. Zimmerman did not follow the directions of the 911 operator to stay in his car. Mr. Zimmerman chose not to do that because he had predetermined Travyon was up to no good. He decided because he had on a hooded sweatshirt and was walking in the rain he was up to no good and because he was looking around that too meant he was up to no good. Since when has it been a crime to walk in the rain? I do, does that make me suspicious? When I take a walk I look at everything around me. Does that make me suspicious? And does it also make me suspicious if I put on my sweatshirt with a hood to keep my head dry? I think not.
The good thing that may come out of this is more discussion on the "stand your ground law". Unfortunately it is an ambiguous law and gives too much discretion to the police. It allows the police to become judge and jury and decide, on the spot, who is guilty and who is not. Unfortunately, in this case, one person involved was dead and had no opportunity to tell his side of the story. The Sanford Police took Zimmerman at his word. He should have been arrested and taken to jail as any other person would have been. He would then have been able to put up bail, get an attorney and wait until the prosecutor decided whether or not to prosecute him. Just because they are police officers doesn't necessarily mean they are without bias so giving them total discretion should never happen.
I believe the DOJ should do a thorough investigation of that police department. The medical examiner expert (not the Sanford Medical examiner) said on the stand that there had been many errors in the collection of the evidence (i.e. the hands had not been bagged per procedure, that wet clothing had been put in plastic bags whereby evidence was contaminated by mold, etc. not following proper procedures in evidence collection). I listened intently to what he said and he was the defense witness. He also said that the police were negligent in not taking Zimmerman to the hospital to be examined for head injuries. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Zimmerman is suing the Sanford Police either. If the police had followed procedures in this case the parents would never had made such an issue of this. I honestly can say I would have done the same and not allowed the police to sweep this under the rug. And that, like other cases which are now being looked into, would have been what would have happened if people (of all skin shades) hadn't decided to protest and demand an investigation.
I can also say in all honesty that I am happy I was not the parent of a black child. I never had to sit down with my teenage son and tell him to always keep his hands in sight and not to put them in his pockets. I never had to say if a police officer or adult in authority stops you make sure you go out of you way to be respectful and courteous and make eye contact. I never had to say when you go into a store to shop get what you need, pay for it and leave. Do not look around. I never had to say bend over backward not to bring attention to yourself so you do not give anyone circumspect to see you as a trouble maker. I never had to say when you go into a store you will be watched simply because you have already been stereotyped. I would have had to make it clear to the child "no you aren't like every other teenager you will always be seen differently".
Now you may think these statements aren't real. I did not always live in Laconia. For 20 years I lived in the city. I have many friends who are non-whites. I talked to some of them about these statements, because I wasn't aware of this, and found out my friends do have these discussions with their teenage sons. I find that very sad.
So for those jumping to get their pens out to castigate me for saying all this go for it. I realize that race is an issue most people would prefer was never discussed. The simple fact is that most people think that when the 13th and 14th amendments were signed everyone was equal. If that had been true would we have had the Rosa Parks, the Civil Rights demonstrations, the Martin Luther Kings?
The biggest problem the USA has is that we see each other as colors not humans beings and unfortunately color is what defines us most of the time. That is really sad. True but sad.