While so many Americans remain shocked, dismayed and reeling from the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, the shock is apparently derived from our lack of foresight on the part of blacks and whites to see it coming. Who could have anticipated that a black boy could have been killed at the hands of a white man, and the white man walks. Really! We’ve seen this movie before.
But as always, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. According to research by John Roman, a senior analyst at the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center, white people who kill black people in ‘Stand Your Ground’ states are 354 per cent more likely to be found justified in their killing than a white person who kills another white person. He also found that whites who kill blacks in non-Stand Your Ground states are 250 percent more likely to be found justified in killing a black person than a white person who kills another white person. Roman’s bases his study in FBI data to support his conclusions.
But short of any such empirical information, past experience tells black Americans that the law and the judicial system have been at the very least shortsighted about transferring power of this magnitude –the lethal use of a weapon – in the hands of any citizen.
To add salt to the racial discrimination wound, check out more miscarriages of justice below:
Marissa Alexander who was abused by her husband while pregnant fired a warning shot at a wall to defender herself in her own home. The bullet didn’t hit anyone and Alexander didn’t harm anyone in other manner. But the would be victim by the same prosecutor as George Zimmerman was told she should have run out of her home and that “Stand Your Ground” law did not apply in her case. Alexander is serving 20 years in prison for the non-lethal and victimless action.
Cece McDonald was chased down a road by drunken neo-Nazis who were high on meth and shouting racist transphobic slurs at her. McDonald was then slashed in the face with a broken bottle and required 11 stitches for the injury. When McDonald turned and defended herself with a pair of scissors as a last resort and to protect her from further injury or further injury or death. McDonald was charged with assualt and on June 4, 2012she was sentenced to 41 months in prison.
And then there’s George Zimmerman who stalked an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin who was simply walking home from the store when Zimmerman decided even after being ordered by a 9-1-1 dispatcher not to follow the youngster,. Zimmerman then shot and murdered Martin. Zimmerman received donations to cover his legal defense and was acquitted of the charges against him.