It has been announced that George Zimmerman, the killer of Trayvon Martin is to stand trial charged with second degree murder. The death of 17-year-old Mr Martin has caused outrage in the US and further afield. Killed in Februaruy 2012, this case barely made a headline especailly outside of the US, for some time. It seemed as if some simply wanted to sweep the death under the carpet. In doing so it was as if they were sweeping away Trayvon Martin.
As has been said and written so many times in the past few weeks, with reference to this case, there are two sides to any story. Whilst the "race card" should not be brought into the matter it is inevitable that it will be. People will of course wonder what would have happened had the skin colours been reversed. That is what if the killer was black and the deceased white. Sadly that is perhaps too easy to answer or even guess.
Mr Zimmerman claims that he felt threatened by Trayvon and responded accordingly. There are reports that he was physically attacked by Trayvon and so he claims he acted in self defence. Under Florida's "stand your ground law" this could mean his reaction was satisfactory. Of course it was not.
Mr Zimmerman may have been a voluntary security guard but what does that mean? A hired vigilante, a helper or what? US gun laws also presumably make it acceptable for such a man to carry a weapon.
We should of course remember that George Zimmerman chased Trayvon after he thought he was acting suspiciously. If iin the event he became injured many would say "so what?" Perhaps he should have followed police instructions not to give chase.
The reports that George Zimmerman was physically injured and left mentally shattered following the death of Trayvon may be true. Pleas to stop a media trial and witch hunt of George were understandable but so was the public's reaction. In the face of what seems to be a cover up people will make up their own minds. They will assume that all is not well if the police feel a need to hide the facts and shy away from an investigation.
Now at least the facts may be revealed. As the family of Trayvon have said, there is still a long way to go. Charging Mr Zimmerman and bringing him to trial are the first few steps. Mr Zimmerman was in hiding for weeks following the killing and has now handed himself into police. According to his attorneys he will enter a plea of not guilty to second degree murder. If convicted he could face a life sentence in jail.
Whether or not he is found guilty will depend on if it is proven that he acted with "malice". Justice should now take its course. Hopefully he will get the fair trial which Mr Martin never received. Trayvon was accused of acting in a suspicious way and for that he lost his life. RIP
Tags: Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, second degree murder charge, Florida law, stand your ground
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog