Target: Lawson Lamar, Florida State Attorney
Goal: To demand that the shooter be held responsible for the killing of an unarmed Florida teenager.
Recently, a white man shot and killed a 17-year-old black teenager who was walking through a gated community where he was visiting his father in Orlando, Florida. The boy left his father’s house to get candy and a soda, and was followed and ultimately gunned-down by Neighborhood Watch captain George Zimmerman as the boy was returning to his father’s house. More than two weeks have passed without the arrest or charging of Zimmerman in the crime; demand that police hold Zimmerman accountable for the senseless and seemingly race-motivated killing.
28-year-old Zimmerman has claimed that he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense, but the fact that Martin was unarmed makes his argument hard to accept. Additionally, neighbors have questioned why Zimmerman was carrying a gun in the first place, as well as why he chose to disregard the 911 dispatcher’s instructions to wait for officers to arrive and not to interfere.
Someone must be held accountable for the death of the 17-year-old boy, yet police have as-of-yet refused to charge or arrest Zimmerman, instead urging those calling for his prosecution to wait for a “fair” investigation. Martin’s family should no longer have to wait for some sort of resolution to this horrible slaying; police must produce results before this tragic instance of white man killing black boy becomes an even more potent reminder that racial disparities within the legal system are fully alive.
Dear Mr. Lamar,
The recent killing of a black teenager in a gated community where he was visiting his father is tragic, and the man responsible must be held accountable. 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was simply returning from the store with soda and candy; this harmless action was apparently enough to trigger Neighborhood Watch captain George Zimmerman to call police and report him as suspicious.
After reporting the boy to the 911 dispatcher, who instructed Zimmerman to wait for officers to arrive and avoid confrontation, Zimmerman alleges that he shot Martin in self-defense once they became involved in an altercation. Martin was unarmed.
While details that race was a factor have yet to surface, the fact that Zimmerman called police to report Martin, who was simply walking through the community, as suspicious, suggest that the 28-year-old white man may have been distrusting of the black youth based on race. His readiness to assume that the black teen was suspicious seems likely to explain his consequent decision to escalate the confrontation to the point of fatality.
The racial element of the polices’ failure to hold Zimmerman accountable is especially troubling; had their roles been reversed, with a black man shooting a white teen, it is hard to believe that it would take several weeks to charge or arrest the man suspected of the shooting.
Race should not prove to be a factor in carrying-out the law. I urge you to make an informed and fair prosecution towards Zimmerman, regardless of his race and the race of his victim, and be sure that the execution of justice is truly colorblind.
[Your Name Here]