The 911 tapes on the night of the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin have finally been released. For those of you unfamiliar with the case, please read our first two write-ups on the story here and here. In total, there were eight calls made the night Trayvon was killed beginning with George Zimmerman, the man who admitted to shooting Trayvon in self-defense, calling to report a “suspicious” man walking through the neighborhood. George Zimmerman was not arrested that night and as of the date of this posting, he has not been charged for his role in the shooting death of Trayvon. You can listen to the 911 calls below:[audio: http://www.axiomamnesia.com/Audio/George-Zimmerman-Treyvon-Martin-911-Call.mp3] [audio: http://www.singleblackmale.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/spdtrayvon1.mp3] [audio: http://www.singleblackmale.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/spdtrayvon2.mp3] [audio: http://www.singleblackmale.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/spdtrayvon3.mp3] [audio: http://www.singleblackmale.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/spdtrayvon4.mp3] [audio: http://www.singleblackmale.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/spdtrayvon5.mp3] [audio: http://www.singleblackmale.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/spdtrayvon6.mp3]
While this story is finally gaining some national recognition, it has unfortunately become more and more focused on race rather than the loss of this 17-year-old boy’s life. In fact, the New York Times and many others have begun focusing on labeling Zimmerman, whose multicultural background includes white and Hispanic, simply “Hispanic” as if that makes it all better. People seemed to be under the impression we were going to say, “Oh, he’s not white? Cool. No more to be outraged about here.” Let’s be clear, we here at SingleBlackMale want to emphasize that the race of the shooter or the deceased is not as important as the fact that a young boy went out to buy tea and skittles and the only crime he committed was walking home. For this, he was shot and killed by another man who labeled him “suspicious” because he had on a hoodie, which last I checked, any number of kids from any number of racial backgrounds wear.
Color me ignorant but it is tragic that I doubt we would be having this hypothetical discussion of why Zimmerman remains at large if it were a young Caucasian male killed that night, whatever the race of his admitted shooter. However, regardless of race, we should all be able to walk through the neighborhoods in which we reside without the fear of being profiled and in this case, shot to death simply because we look “suspicious” based on preconceived notions of a complete stranger.
When I listen to the above 911 tapes and read stories of Zimmerman placing over 46 calls to 911 since January 2011, I see a man who even if he had the best of intentions, became overzealous in his role as self-appointed neighborhood WATCH captain. In this role, he chose to pursue an unarmed teenage boy whom he self-identified as looking suspicious. While no one other than Zimmerman and God knows what happened when he encountered this boy he chose to stalk and engage, I do know only one of them is dead. For that, I believe the other deserves to be arrested and face charges for his actions.
Zimmerman made a number of choices, many of them I personally disagree with, and as a result, a young man died. Race does not matter here. The very idea that I, a family member, friend or a complete stranger who is unarmed and with no prior criminal record, unlike Zimmerman, doesn’t have as much right as anyone else to walk down the street without fearing for his or her life makes no sense. It’s appalling that many have chosen to argue otherwise. Yes, Zimmerman had the right to carry a weapon. He even had the right to make the choice to follow and engage Trayvon. Tasked only as a neighborhood WATCH captain, these were misguided and poor decisions on Zimmerman’s part. Worse still, he killed an unarmed young man because of these decisions. Therefore, I re-state my position that I believe Zimmerman should be arrested and brought up on charges for his role in the shooting and killing of Trayvon Martin.
However, it is not up to me. The case has been turned over to the Florida state attorney’s office for additional review and investigation. You can also sign a petition, which has received over 300,000 signatures to have Zimmerman brought up on charges. We will continue to follow this story and provide additional updates as new information comes available.
– Wisdom Is Misery