I have been following the events in Sanford, Florida. If you are reading this, you already know the particulars. There was a shooting; the police know the shooter; they have the victim, who is deceased.
I understand innocent until proven guilty, but really an immediate arrest was very much necessary due to the nature of this event. The advice given to the shooter on the phone by the police (who he called), was not to follow the person he was reporting. The shooter chose to ignore the officer and pursued the victim. Whether the victim confronted the shooter, is really irrelevant. There was provocation for the victim to confront the shooter; he was being followed by someone without authority and I’m sure he was nervous if not scared; I would have been.
The shooter played cop, court, jury and executioner all on his own. No one asked or forced him to do this. It may have been adrenalin, a hero complex or just a real poor decision. Whether the victim was a good or bad person is irrelevant as well; it was not the shooter’s right to make that call. Had the shooter let the police do their job and investigate his report, most likely there would have been no incident. This would have been just an aggravation to the teen walking home, rather than the sudden senseless ending of a young life. What would’ve happened if the shooter had of gotten shot? Would the police have the same disconnect( and let Trayvon free )? After all, it would conceivably be self-defence; a man is following you and he has a gun pointed at you.
Innocent or not, self-preservation kicks in. I believe that there would have been an immediate arrest and a lengthy investigation. People would want blood! Just as most of America, and now the World want justice for this young man.
I live in Canada where gun laws are strict. I would never follow someone trying to play cop (I too have reported strange activity to the police). I can’t say that a person with a hoody would give me a concern though. People need to see the victim as their own child, a child who they love. A child that was in the wrong place at the wrong time, with a judgmental person who thought in his own mind he was doing the right thing.
I think I’m being kind. I heard the shooter’s call to police; he had already set the stage in his mind. I’m sure that the officer on the phone must have sensed that the situation was not going to end well. I don’t think the shooter had intentions on killing someone, but he did not have the training to deal with a potential confrontation. Now he’ll need to deal with the consequences that go along with taking the law into his own hands.
The handling of this situation by the police was a huge multiplication to this tragedy, the confusion and lack of foresight; not to mention, the judgment was deplorable(Zimmerman should have stayed in custody). All senior levels involved must be suspended with a full investigation and then re-evaluated.
I’ve left out the obvious in this tragedy, because the other obvious is already there. I’d pray that it has nothing to do with the story, that the facts are enough. This is a senseless killing that can’t be watered down, excused or explained away. Nothing other than swift action, so that all victims are reassured that they have rights and that the justice system is for all without prejudice of any kind, is acceptable.
In closing, I’d like to remind people who are digging too deep, that the obvious 800 lb gorilla in this, is the racial potential. This was the act of a lone individual, not an organization. As for the police, it is gross incompetence the way they dealt with a homicide. They had a body, and the person who caused it to happen. They had the pieces to the puzzle; they needed to act with an arrest and then let the investigation begin to decide if he was guilty or not. Police are there to enforce the law; the courts handle the punishment (or lack there of). Had the police acted with a little sensitivity and commonsense, this would be much less complex, and not so inflammatory towards the racial element, that is so hard to ignore.
Great quote from one of my readers : Assumptions are dangerous things.