March 22nd, 2012
12:55 PM ET

Trayvon Martin case sparks dialogue on racial inequality, meaning of justice

Nearly one month ago, few people knew the name Trayvon Martin.

The teen, who was walking to the house of his father's fiancée in Sanford, Florida, with a drink and Skittles in hand, was shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain who had called police to report suspicious activity. If you had looked on February 26, it would have been hard to find much discussion or major national coverage about the shooting.

On its face, that day, it was simple: Zimmerman told police that Martin, who was unarmed, attacked him, so he shot Martin in self-defense, which can be a protected activity under Florida law.

But now, this case, at least in terms of the conversations swirling around it, is anything but simple. And Trayvon Martin's name has now become part of the vocabulary of a debate on attitudes about race.

What began as a local shooting has turned into a global story that you couldn't miss, even if you tried. It is a story that has sparked outrage, cries of racism, accusations of vigilantism and questions about gun laws and whether police properly investigated the case. It has in many ways turned into a full-scale moment of reflection for Americans, of all races, as to whether we as a nation have moved forward in our quest for equality among races.

A petition on Change.org calling for Zimmerman's arrest, now handled by Martin's parents, shows how ingrained the topic is in the cultural zeitgeist. Early Thursday, the petition had reached 1 million signatures, with them coming in at a pace of 1,000 signatures a minute, according to Noland Chambliss, communications director for Change.org.  Chambliss said the petition at times has been getting 50,000 signatures an hour.

It is one of the more dominant conversations on news and social media sites, becoming a sort of rallying cry from those who feel an injustice has occurred. Those who feel that Zimmerman took Florida's "stand your ground" protection too far, or used it as an excuse to gun down a black teen because he was wearing a hoodie, took to the streets around the country to make their voices heard.  Demonstrators crowded New York's Union Square on Wednesday night, in a "Million Hoodie March" attended by Martin's parents.

The demands for justice grew largely because of a massive social media campaign with the help of major African-American celebrities trying to bring attention to the case, leading to Martin's name trending worldwide. But it's gone beyond just being a word or topic being typed out in a tweet or a post.

Most of the outrage comes from the idea that some people believe Zimmerman specifically targeted Martin because of his race, a claim that Zimmerman's father denies. Questions have swirled about whether Zimmerman used a racial epithet during his call to police about Martin. A top CNN audio engineer enhanced the sound of the 911 call, and several members of CNN's editorial staff repeatedly reviewed the tape but could reach no consensus on whether Zimmerman used a racial slur.

Many of those outraged with the case believe that Zimmerman had no reason to gun down a teenager who had no weapon. But the truth is we don't know exactly what happened between the moment Zimmerman called police to report his concern and the moment that cops showed up and found the black teen dead in the grass.

And perhaps it is all of those unknowns that have stoked the flames of outrage. It may be those unknowns that have sparked so many questions, and the inherent need to know exactly why this happened. Those concerns have led us to dissect the lives of Martin and Zimmerman to try and understand what may have happened that fateful night. Those questions have led some to criticize Florida's gun law and question whether it allows killers to go free.

And the situation has also forced parents of  black children to think about how they should discuss the story with their kids. What rhetoric do they use? How do they explain what they feel is happening?

CNN's Christy Oglesby wrote that her 12-year-old son knows he could have been Trayvon.

"It’s tough finding the balance between encouraging a black boy to storm the world with confidence and at the same time to fear for his life. But that’s what I must do," she wrote. "I know that at this very moment some have just sucked their teeth in disgusted disbelief and decided that I’m exaggerating. I wish that I was. I’m not. If I were, Trayvon would be alive."

That's a sentiment that author Touré wrote about for Time.com, too. In his piece called "How to talk to young black boys about Trayvon Martin," he offers eight talking points on what he calls the "potentially fatal condition of being Black."

"It’s unlikely but possible that you could get killed today. Or any day. I’m sorry but that’s the truth. Blackmaleness is a potentially fatal condition. I tell you that not to scare you but because knowing that could possibly save your life," he wrote. "There are people who will look at you and see a villain or a criminal or something fearsome. It’s possible they may act on their prejudice and insecurity. Being Black could turn an ordinary situation into a life or death moment even if you’re doing nothing wrong."

It has also forced a national dialogue on whether police handled the case properly, in general, or whether there were any racial biases in how the case was handled.

Pressure continues to grow on legislators to re-examine the "stand your ground" law, as well as on those charged with investigating the case. After a no-confidence vote and demands for his resignation, pressure mounted Thursday on the Sanford police chief. Sanford city commissioners voted 3-2 Wednesday night in favor of a nonbinding measure of no confidence against Police Chief Bill Lee.Some of the people supporting Martin's family have also made it clear they want the chief fired, tweeting out his photo and phone number and encouraging people to flood his office with phone calls.

But police did try to give insight into how and why they handled the incident the way they did in a letter from the city manager posted online. In it, they explain, exactly how the "stand your ground" law works and how, according to Zimmerman's description of what happened that night, they could not refute that Zimmerman was protected by the law.

Thursday afternoon Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee announced Thursday he is stepping down "temporarily" as head of the department.

"I am aware that my role as a leader of this agency has become a distraction from the investigation," he told reporters. "It is apparent that my involvement in this matter is overshadowing the process. Therefore, I have come to the decision that I must temporarily remove myself from the position."

He added, "I do this in the hopes of restoring some semblance of calm to the city, which has been in turmoil for several weeks."

A Seminole County grand jury will convene April 10 on the matter, according to State Attorney Norm Wolfinger, and the U.S. Justice Department has launched a civil rights investigation into the case.

It appears that a growing movement of people across the country will continue to rally behind Martin's parents as they urge an arrest in the case.  Another rally is planned Thursday night at a Sanford church.

Before the grand jury makes a decision on whether to hand down indictments in the case, it is likely that more voices will fight to be heard and added to this ongoing and heated debate.

soundoff (1,305 Responses)
  1. John Amadi

    Shame on America. So much for the statue of Liberty and all that talk about Freedom and equality. If this kid shot the man the POPO woulda been on da brotha like quick. People afraid to admit that racism is involve. People don't want to accept the fact that America hasn't change and racism still exist just as it does in the Government with republicans constantly obstructing the President on every turn. RIP Martin because Justice will be served. Zimmerman will will suffer for his foolishness

    March 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      We're not "afraid" that racism was involved because there was no racism. Why? Because the kid was black and the killer was Hispanic (not a "white" guy as the media first said, but that makes no difference, either)? No! This moron didn't go after this child looking to deliberately gun him down and because he was black! A trigger happy Barney Fife who's now a killer...yes. But not because of any racism you folks are dreaming in your mind, simply because it's dramatic!

      March 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quagmire

      quit crying. race race race. does it really matter if the kid was black or white? no, innocent young life taken away is sad yes and shouldn't have happen but if the races were reversed would it be a hate crime then? if the killer was black and called the victim was white and called "whiteboy" then killed, would that be racist?

      March 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gabe28

    No one was their besides those 2 individuals and now one of them is gone. Tragic. We don't know what happend from the time of 911 call to police getting there and to persume anyone does is reckless. However, this stinks!!!!!! It stinks that this kid had a drink and candy walking down the street, that kind of demeanor doesn't reflect someone out looking for trouble or looking to steal, rob, fight. Something my kid would be doing walking to a friends house. Something could have change, I/we don't know. But what is being said by Zimmerman doesn't add up. If provoked, any one of else would get defensive and maybe Zimmerman scared Treyvon into having Treyvon feel like he needed to defend himself and Zimmerman took that as an act of aggression. Seems like Zimmerman went out of his way to confront this person, not the job of neighborhood watch, that is designed to look out for suspcious activities. Walking with Skittles and a drink doesn't seem to fit that. I think Zimmerman confronted Treyvon, Treyvon in turn became the aggressor and Zimmerman paniced and shot him. The sad part, I don't think you can charge him as that time lapse and the "stand your ground" law will prevent the ability to be charged, it's Treyvons word against Zimmerman and Treyvon is gone. This stinks...

    March 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. salmonrusty

    Zimmerman's kill Palestinian kids everyday and get away with it. Well Zimmerman this is not the Gaza strip and justice will see you pay for the murder.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Laura Ashe

    I've watched the coverage for several days. I can not see any reason for Zimmerman to have shot this child. It's not a crime to walk down the street in a hoodie while taking on the phone or listen to an Ipod. Its not a crime to carry a bag of candy. It's not a crime to refuse to answer the police when questioned and, it's definitely not a crime to refuse to answer a neighborhood watch person. The child was unarmed and simply walking home. In my opinion the child posed no danger to Zimmerman and Zimmerman was the aggressor. He needs to be held accountable for this child's death.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Well said, and that's more the real point here. Not all this phony racism everyone's spouting. It has nothing to do with race, it has everything to do with the fact that this wannabe -cop was too, too trigger happy.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TbagUSA

    While this case is absolutely unfortunate, white on black crime is extremely rare. I don't see any body standing up against the perpetual black on black killings which plague every city, every day. There should be a discussion on that.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sensible

      Check out the black on white crime in and around Chicago. Out of control.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      You won't see it, unfortunately.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DE

    Who is the idiot who gave Zimmerman a permit to carry a weapon?

    March 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sensible

    Come on people, lets be sensible here. Why do african americans get labeled the way they do? Well because their own people give them the horrible name that is been placed on them. I live in suburb outside of Chicago that is mostly White and Hispanic. We get a TON of break-ins in garages and houses. Guess who police catch doing 80-90% of these break-ins? Black. I dont even want to mention the recent mob actions that have been going on in the yuppie neighborhoods in Chicago where black teenagers/men are going into these white neighborhoods and beating people to within a inch of their lives. THE ONLY people that can change the stereo type is African Americans themselves. Wake up, provide a better life for yourself, stop part taking in criminal activity. Stop killing 10-15 people on the first above 80 degree day of the year and its nice out, so lets act like a bunch of crazies. Plan and simple CREATE a new stereo type for yourselves. Its not rocket science here people.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Harpo

    What the crap was this kid doing in a gated community? By the pictures I saw it had a gate and fence and no doubt no-trespassing signs.......or did I miss something?

    March 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • h

      He was visiting his father and his fiancee who live in the community.Not a crime that I know of. He was walking down the street no breaking in to cars or houses. Neighborhoo Watch means watch. This idiot caused the whole thing. A 70 year old black and shot a white man for similarly over skateboarding. Also stupid. He was arrested. This was not even investigated by the cops.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • alex_santarelli

      his dad lives there and he was going to get snacks for him and his little brother to watch the game at his dads house. he walked to the store and was walking back home. I repeat HOME he lived there.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rich

    Justice is not demanding an arrest without legal ground. In fact, that is injustice. Let the legal system do its job. It may get it right, it may not. But our rule of law is more important than any single person, even if that person is an innocent teen confronted by someone who wrongfully took his life. It is for this reason that people screaming for action might well destroy any chance of a conviction if one is due.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Well said. I have been trying to draft a comment along that line all day.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Great comment. It is very unfortunate that people are letting race get in the way of the facts of this case. All of this outrage is made-up, racist BS. The facts of the case do not support an arrest.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      At Rich, you must not be a Father, or human for that matter. What's wrong is wrong and that man should have been put in jail, point blank!

      March 22, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Jerry, you must made that whole thing up. He wasn't run down and murdered. Zimmerman had blood coming from his face and the back of his head and had grass on the back of his sweat shirt as if he were pinned down or in a struggle. He also repeatedly yelled for help but none came. He used his gun as a last resort. That seems to prove that he didn't want to shoot the kid but was forced to.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justce2

      What a terrible tragedy. But I see no news stories of the countless times white kids, hispanic kids, indian kids are jumped by black kids (and killed sometimes)when they happen to be in the wrong neighborhood, or wrong part of the school. Why no stories then?

      March 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelli

      My question is....would you feel the same way if your son was the victim?

      March 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • MY 2 Cents

      Rich – People just want to see JUSTICE done. The fact that there was no official investigation is apalling. That is the true issue at hand. Yes, many would like to see Zimmerman pay for this crime. But the fact is that the police took his word and never performed an investigation to see if there truly was a crime commited. This man's blood/alchol level was never even tested. There would've been more of an investigation if someone were driving erratically. This is crazy considering that the police saw a dead body on the ground. This man should have, at the very least had been taken into custody for questioning. I don't think the cries for JUSTICE that are being displayed are UNJUSTIFIED. I am sure you would agree if this were your child. This travesty could have been prevented, but wasn't so now we need to get to the bottom of what truly occured.

      March 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      Well, then the law of the universe will step right up. No human being gets away with wrong doing. Yes, they may think that they have gotten away-but do you remember O.J. Simpson? His conscience ended up tormenting him until he landed up in jail. Don't worry. Justice will be served. Some people end up with some sort of dreadful disease, some people end up dying like a beggar on the street, the list is endless.

      March 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jay

    I feel horrible for the kid, but why does it become a race issue when the kid was black? What if he were hispanic, white, indian? We wouldn't be commenting on the race and this wouldn't be national news.
    In schools where white kids are the minority, they are picked on and called names and nothing is done. When its the other way around, the white kids don't dare because they will be considered a racist.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      That is also true. There is an unfortunate double standard.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      I think any time a kid, unarmed and minding his own business, is chased down and murdered with a gun it will be national news. The outcry is due to the fact that the guy hasn't even been arrested. Would he be walking around free is he had shot an unarmed white kid? Probably not.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just my POV

      I can understand your frustration about race being an issue. I believe that race is an issue in respect to this situation because it is very likely that if Trayvon wasn't black he would probably still be alive. I've come to that conclusion because Zimmerman seemed to have an issue with African Americans and profile this individual being a threat because of his race. Zimmerman made 46 calls to 911 complaining about African Americans, no other race was mentioned or complained about. People say its 2012 and racism is dead, but its not. Its also not limited to white vs black.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul Louis

      Find and post one...JUST ONE story from any year where an unarmed black or white person shot and killed a White kid for doing NOTHING besides being a White kid, and you can make that statement. Until then, why would you believe it is anything else. Just because the shooter didn't yell "I am racist shooting a young black boy", doesn't mean that was not his intent. This unarmed killing of Black boys/men has been going on for decades...centuries even. It must be real comfortable knowing that the chances of you or your young ones being killed for doing nothing is slim to none. Relax on....

      March 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • my name is jay also

      Because this black young man was gunned down by another man who admits to the crime. Meanwhile, right on CNN a report about a 71 year old BLACK man has been arrested and is being prosecuted for the murder of a younger white man! Both of these cases are identical in a sense that both suspects are claiming self defense. Trayvon's murderer was told not to follow the young man, but he did. The police arrives to find somebody's child dead! Of COURSE it's a race issue! Not try to sugar coat it either!!!!

      March 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    I called my credit card company today and the person I talked to said she was in Florida. The first thing that popped into my head was Trayvon Martin's tragic death at the hands of a vigilante as the local authorities stand by saying "stand your ground" prevents them from arresting the murderer. Not a good sign for Florida. Just sayin'.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Vigilante? What? It was a neighborhood watchman. There had been problems with breakins. You can well be sure that if a crime had been commited this guy would have already been executed with all of the pseudo "outrage" out there.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. kevin

    A LOT OF WHITE FIOLKS NEED TO STOP PRETENDING THEY UNDERSTAND THE BLACK STRUGGLE. I AM IN COLLEGE AND THERE ARE A LOT OF WHITE STUDENTS WHO DO NOT EVEN KNOW WHO EMMETT TILL WAS. THE BLACK COMMUNITIES DO HAVE PROBLEMS HOWEVER WE DO NOT NEED THE ADDED BURDENS FROM RACISM. WE HAVE FACED YEARS OF DISPARITY ONLY TO HAVE SOME SAY RACISM IS DYING OFF BECAUSE SOME OF YOU WHITES ELECTED A BLACK PRESIDENT. WHO DID YOU REALLY HAVE AS AN ALTERNATIVE? SARAH PALIN WAS NOT AN OPTION FOR A MAJORITY OF FEMINISTS. LETS STOP BEING HYPOCRITS. WHITES ARE PRIVILEGED, AND IT IS A FACT. BLACK FOLKS ARE STRUGGLING BECAUSE WE COME FROM POVERTY, BAD EDUCATION, BROKEN HOMES, GANG VIOLENCE, HOME VIOLENCE, MENTAL ISSUES, FEAR OF THE WHITE ESTABLISHMENT. ALL THIS BROUGHT ON BECAUSE OF STRUCTURAL RACISM. TREYVON DID NOT NEED TO BE KILLED. I KNOW SOME WHITES DO NOT LIKE TALKING ABOUT RACE ISSUES BUT THATS THE REASON WHY THE USA WILL ALWAYS BE LOOKED AT FOR BEING A SEGREGATED NATION. THE RACE GAME. YOU PEOPLE ARE FUNNY. YOU NEVER WALK IN THE SHOES OF US OR OUR ANCESTORS AND YOU USE THE TERM RACE CARD! TRUST US WHEN WE SAY YOU WOULD NOT SURVIVE A YEAR IN SOME OF OUR LIVES. AND THE MAJORITY OF US ARE NOT ON WELFARE, NOT DRUGGIES, NOT UNEDUCATED, AND ALL THOSE STEREOTYPES. BUT HOW WOULD ANY OF YOU KNOW THAT. 96.5% OF YOU DO NOT EVEN HAVE SIX REAL BLACK FRIENDS. TO ALL YOU "THINK YOU KNOW IT ALL," GO SEAT ON A TACK.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • JEx

      Kevin, I understand black people on the internet have an issue with Caps Lock. They yell in Movies, and they yell on the Net. It's a serious issue that I, the white man, fully understands.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sensible

      Poverty, no education, etc etc? Give me a break. Break the stereo type/excuses and change yourselves. Plain and simple.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Kevin,

      My name is Kevin and I agree with you. And I'm not even black. Its just that us Kevins got to stick together to be free!

      March 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heime

      THERE YOU GO AGAIN, PLAYING THE RACE CARD. FINISH YOUR EDUCATION. AND TURN OFF YOUR CAP LOCK.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Something with a "-Z"

      You have concerns and I feel bad for ya son. I got 99 problems, but a broke CapsLock ain't one...

      March 22, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      "YOU WHITE FOLKS ELECTED A BLACK PRESIDENT" ...."BLACK FOLKS ARE STRUGGLING BECAUSE WE COME FROM POVERTY, ..." ..."YOU PEOPLE ARE FUNNY". ....and us so-called white folks are the racists? Hilarious!!! You just used half a dozen stereotypes yourself, which just proves your own ignorance. For the record, I hold two PhDs, one in physics, one in history. I work with dozens of people who are black...some are African-American, some are genuine Africans (Ethiopian, etc)...and let me tell you, most educated people couldn't care less about race....it's about CULTURE. If I walk out of my building and there's a well dressed, well groomed black guy to my left, and to my right is a white kid with gold teeth whose pants are falling off, who do you think I would trust more? It's about CULTURE you half wit. You have no idea what this Trayvon kid was like...but you assume that because he was black, and his attacker was not, that it simply MUST be racially motivated. So WHO is the one bringing race into? You, my friend. YOU are the racist here. You just think that because you are black, you are allowed to trash white people and it's not racist. Grow up.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • sunsets55

      my best friend is a black guy, and i'm not black. when we go out to eat, we always get these looks from black people like 'why is he with her?' and yet, we're not dating! he's gay! but i gotta ask, do you feel the black community owes the duke lacrosse players an apology?? again, the black community is screaming racial injustice, ok...3 whites guys were wrongly accused of raping a black woman, there were these marches that jackson and sharpton organized that had these 3 guys mug shots next to adolf hitler...and nobody ever apologized to them.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • FEDUP

      Poor you, I don't "understand" the black struggle?, don't care to. Don't give a damn about it.Privileged? You peolpe are a joke. The most racist people are black. You know all you have to do to get your way is claim racism. That;s your crutch, to use when you can't get what you want, or are too cowardly to try hard to get it. You people will destroy yourselves. Blacks think all we do is sit around nad think of ways to keep you down. We don't have to, you people do it to yourselves. 6 black friends? why would we?

      March 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gizmo41

      First of all, the reason it seems racism is even an issue here is due to the media. They know it sells, so they put it in all the headlines, and make sure to cram it down our throats every time there is a black person involved. The shooter wasn't white, and the only people I've even really seen toss up race have been black people. What makes me mad about this entire tragedy, is that everyone, mostly black people, are turning this into a race issue. A young man (who cares what race he is) died way before he should have, and my heart goes out to his family and friends. I hope that the law finds whatever justice is deserved in this case, and I hope that the family keeps their head up and stays strong. Until we, as a nation, can start seeing past our own noses, we will never pull out of the ignorance that is racism, and bigotry.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Kevin, I think you need to check your facts about the percentages of blacks who have been in prision or are in gangs or are on drugs. All I have to say is that anyone can be anything they want to be. It has now been demonstrated that a black person can be president. They can be on the supreme court, and get preferential hiring. The problems with broken famalies, crime, drugs all are things that are taught. When my kids were growing up I took them to church and told them not to lie, cheat or steal. I taught them that drugs were bad. I have been married for 24 years to the same woman I dated for 3 years first. I have 3 kids. 1 college graduate, 1 in her 3rd year of college and 1 that decided not to go. None have been in jail, convicted of a felony or even been accued on of one. Take some personal responsibility for yourself. With all of this self pitty, you will never ge anywhere.

      March 22, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Michael

    People will never pass up an opportunity to yell 'racism.' For the record, when the police showed up, Zimmerman had scratches and bruises on his face from the altercation. If the teen was fleeing, how did Zimmerman get so bruised?

    March 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • OMG

      If Zimmerman listen to 911 dispatcher stop following Martin, he would never die

      March 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • L.G.

      The teen was fighting for his life.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      ZIMMERMAN FACE WAS BLOODY... I JUST FOUND OUT THAT A BLACK MAN WITH A GUN SHOT A WHITE MAN IN FLORIDA USING THAT LAW, STAND YOUR GROUND....THE BLACK MAN WAS A NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PERSON LIKE ZIMMERMAN...WHERE WAS THE OUTCRY ??????? BLACKS WANT TO KNOW WHY WHITES ARE NOT RAISING HELL ABOUT IT ? I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THE WHITE MAN GETTING KILLED ..IT WASN'T A BIG DEAL.. A DOUBLE STANDARD ?

      March 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Majesty Rene'

      How do you THINK Zimmerman's fat ass got scratched and bruised ?!! from the Skittles or the tea can ? U moron ! That child was fighting and screaming for his LIFE !! IF you haven't listened to the 911 tapes, be intelligent and do so.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Disgusted

      I wonder what you would do if someone (you didn't know) was chasing you with a gun??? Offer him a drink of your iced tea????

      March 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. whattime

    Why do you not show the picture you have of this Hoodie Rat in his gang banger uniform or give out his Juvinile criminal record. Hypocrites in the press following the politically correct template.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      ALL THE PICTURES THAT CNN IS SHOWING ?? ARE FROM EARLIER YEARS.......MARTIN IS 6–3 NOW.. AND A LOT OLDER THAN IN THOSE PICTURES.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • MY 2 Cents

      "Hoodie Rat" "Gang Banger" -Yeah, Racism truly does not exist.......

      March 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Leila

    Am I the only one who can clearly hear the racial slur? It sounds pretty obvious and articulate to me.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kathleen

      I heard it clear as day, Leila.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
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