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. Deathstalker

    Something happened and a teenager got killed. It sucks but so does life we all die in the end get used to it. Death is coming for you and there is nothing any of us can do about it but try and hold on as long as possible. Should the teenager have been killed no but the law protects Zimmerman and if they didn’t want something like this to happen they should have never made it into law. Well now everyone knows what the law is and how it can turn into something bad. This is now political and the next election may depend on which way the politician stands, stand your ground or run away. With stand your ground there is a gray area and it makes it very hard to determine if the excessive force was needed. I highly doubt it was I highly doubt that Zimmerman had the right or the need but he did anyhow and the law says that’s ok. To bad so sad better luck next time.

    March 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • cecilia

      you are just a wealth of enlightenment – hope I never have to talk to you any this life

      March 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anchorite

      The law protects the victim, whoever he is. In this case Zimmerman was clearly the stalking killer and Martin the unarmed victim minding his own business until he was attacked. But in this case, the Sanford PD ignored the law and protected the killer.

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

    Zimmerman needs to be arrested, immediately.

    March 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Because you want to see him be released and sue the city, or do you have some other reason? There isn't evidence to justify an arrest, just a strong desire to make it happen. That is not enough.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Asian Guy

    When you fear for your life.........Instructions to back off (by 911 instructor) means nothing!

    If you err, your fate can be decided in seconds NOT minutes.

    So, the alleged shooter and the dead boy alone know the truth.......Neither do YOU, Nor do I !!!!

    March 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • alex_santarelli

      Asian guy this Latino man was safe in his car. the boy was walking home in the rain. walking home in the rain after buying something for his little brother to snack on. this man followed this child in the dark of night in the rain. got out of his car. approached the child I repeat. and harassed him then shot him Dead. if it were your child what would you do?

      March 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Althalos

      Right Asian Guy so lets go by what we know. What we know is that this man stalked the boy. He called 911 and they specifically told him "No we don't need you following him" yet Zimmerman continued to follow and neighbors heard someone screaming for help and last time I checked you don't go screaming for help when you have a gun which Zimmermann had. The boy's choice for battle skittles and iced tea? I think you know the rest unless you can't put 2 + 2 together.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    Trayvon had a girl friend on the other end of a phone and neighbors calling 911 to tell his story. Who would speak for the victim who was not on a phone in a more secluded area? How many of the cases have already passed unnoticed?

    March 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • DSBsky

      Because we all know someones girlfried won't lie for him, due to insurmountable pressure ,from all of her friends, to make sure Zimmerman goes to jail.. please.. shut up... She will lie her ass off if it means sending that guy to jail. Pretty much anyone would.. ESPECIALLY with all the racial tension. He friends would disown her if she didn't..

      March 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alicia

    Blacks slaughter whites every day in every city in this country, but it never gets in the news.

    March 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judge Dredd

      Blacks kill whites all the time and it never gets in the news. How about that 13 year old in Kansas City who set ablaze by some blacks kids earlier this month? How about like the article mentions about Trevor Dooley (black) shooting a white guy in front of his 8 year old daughter.

      March 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • GrouchyKat

      It's not as inflammatory as the other way around. How else will the media be able to keep up race baiting?

      March 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • cecilia

      I would love to know where you get your statistic – while you look those up why don't you check out how many blacks kids are in jail compared to white kids only because of system not the crime –

      March 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Madison Gray

      I don't know how you can validate that statement, but when there is a crime committed by a black against a white, prosecution is swift, efficient and usually results in conviction. THAT's why it's never in the news. Whites get justice, blacks get shafted.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • ??????

      Are you slow or something? Must be from Florida

      March 22, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sacmar

      Can you provide your sources for this?

      March 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • DSBsky

      It only gets so much attention because people are scared blacks will pull another Rodney King. We all know their just looking for another reason to flip out.. It's in their nature apparently.. When was the last time you saw whites riot about blacks killing one of them? We don't. It's called being civil. A word that pretty much none of you knows the definition of.. If you did, you wouldn't of been pulling innocent people out of their cars and hitting them with bricks, looting stores and coming up with whatever reason you could, to do what you really just want to do anyway... Steal, kill and destroy.. I ain't scared, riot again. I have a gun and I'll use it.. And If that dumb vigilante group goes to Zimmermans house. I hope he uses his gun again.. He'd be in the right..

      March 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Althalos

      Blacks kill Whites, Whites kill Blacks, Tans kill Yellow, Yellows kill Tans, Green and Yellow kill each other and make Blue. Your statement makes as much sense as the first sentence of my comment. Your truly ignorant everybody kills everybody in this country it doesn't matter what race, color, or religion. And also the man claims he is hispanic so you quit it with the white vs black.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. King LeTroll

    I feel bad for the kid. But if he was a muslim, I wouldn't feel bad for him at all.

    March 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deathstalker

      I don’t feel too bad for the kid his time is done if anything the parents are the ones who lost something they can never get back feel sorry for them. As to him being Muslim and not caring well that’s just dumb IMO. Kids are taught by there parents what religion they should believe in and why. When you grow up in the environment with all your family, friends, brothers, and sisters believing the same thing it is nearly impossible to choose a different life at that point.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Allen

    How was the police dispatcher's telephone comment to Zimmerman that "we don't need you to do that" the same as an ORDER to Zimmerman to not pursue Travon? Not saying I agree with the shooting...just stating a fact that the dispatcher's comment wasn't exactly an "order" or direction.

    March 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • DSBsky

      I never thought of that but that's a dam good point. "We don't need you to do that" does not equal "Sit DO NOT follow that man, it is not your job".. WAYY different.. The cop might as well of told him.. "You know what, it's not such a big deal, so follow him for a bit, until we get there"

      March 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. danny

    I am a Canadian and I must say whats going on in the US scare the daylights out of me .The core problem that you have is the ease with which anyone can get access to a gun complimented by these insane laws such as "stand your ground"Childern in school in the US are no longer safe ,and it is also no longer safe to walk in a community unless you are well known or white .As outsiders looking in your core problem relates to Guns .Why does one citizen need to own 47 very dangerous weapons ,and dont you expect that at some point these weapons will fall in the wrong hands.

    March 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. LNT

    It is painfully clear that Mr. Zimmerman follow Trayvon Martin after the 911 despatch told him not to, this man was looking for trouble. The hell with stand your ground law, who is going to stand for Trayvon!!!!!!!!!

    March 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nita

    How in the artilce you are gonna put "which can be a protected activity under Fl law", when ZImmerman was the pursuer and Trayvon didnt give him any real physical reason for suspension, besides wearing his hoodie?WHATEVER

    March 22, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. lauradet

    Stupid fool, the young boy did none of those things that you've just mentioned. He was a good boy who was walking home with Skittles in his pocket and he was chased by a looney white man. The fact that you desire to be like Zimmerman shows that you too are a murderous imbecile.

    March 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • max

      too bad the rest of his race gave him the stereotype of being a criminal

      March 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sande

      Just like the rest of your race gave you the stereotype of being an evil, selifsh, racist, bigot. Damn white people must really hate themselves. I feel sorry for you all, youre a cancer.

      March 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      Peace and love, but your statement is offensive, but it's all good-one day this will all be over.

      March 22, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lioness27

      And your words prove your low I.Q.

      March 22, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • hotpockets

      Right. The jails are filled with criminals...not stereotypes. How about marching for promoting education and work? And how about all the shootings going on every day in the hood but only this one is being hyped. Wassup wid dat?

      March 22, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liv

      I am hoping that your an uneducated, uninformed, ignorant fool that crawled out of a hole to share your unwelcomed unread, cretinous, idiotic opinions. Because that is the only kind of person that would make such a comment. That child had every right to walk down a street without being murdered. Black, white, brown red, purple he is a human being and deserves justice for being murdered.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johan Goetz

      Hispanic man.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kiki

      Racially white ethnically part Hispanic male.

      March 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • withanh2

      Please check your facts. This tragic young man was no tiny little innocent. Recent release of 911 call clearly shows him as the aggressor.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • pzanga

      How so?

      March 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Before there was an altercation between the two, we know that George Zimmerman:

      a) Stated he didn't like the way Martin looked.
      b) Actively pursued Martin.
      c) Was armed.

      Therefore any action by Martin AFTER these events would have been in defense of Zimmerman's already aggressive and offensive actions. Martin was standing his ground against Zimmerman the aggressor.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • EJ

      Just learned Zimmermans parents worked in local government. This might explain why the cops seem to be trying to make the kid look like a criminal. Looks like a cover up.

      March 22, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • J C

      Trayvon was clearly the aggressor? You are either deaf and dumb or just plain ignorant; or all of the above. Trayvon did not follow George; Trayvon was not told by the 911 operator not to pursue George; and Trayvon surely did not initiate the contact with George. But according to you, Trayvon was the aggressor. Be careful, your true colors are starting to show.

      March 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kimo

      He wasn't the one carrying the gun and thinking he's Wyatt Earp. Why not wait until all the facts are out and see who confronted who? The real problem are the redneck laws that let private citizens carry guns no matter who they are, how unstable they are or how prone to fly off the handle. Police undergo a lot of training to help them make the split second decision on whether or not to use deadly force. It's stupid and archaic to let any Tom, Dick or Harry with a gun make that same decision.

      March 22, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      What's stupid and archaic is assuming one tragic incident means the majority of law abiding gun owners get over scrutinized by a population afraid of guns.

      March 22, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoJo

      I know, always blame the gun, ad if it had a mind of its own. Why don't they blame cars for drunk driving too?

      March 22, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoJo

      @joe

      Totally agree, the libs are always blaming the gun. As if it had a mind of its own. Do they blame cars for drunk driving too? Absurd isn't it?

      March 22, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • clarke

      So Zimmermen was sitting on his front porch drinking tea with his gun. This kid started picking on him, man calls 911 and then shoots the kid. Zimmerman looks like he could of taken the kid on without shooting him or just wait for cops to get there. Something is not right here.

      March 22, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Butch

      You are as nuts as the shooter. You must be white.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ali

      Your racism is showing, lauradet. The shooter is HISPANIC, and supposed leaders of Blacks, such as John Lewis, are more than willing to consider Hispanics people of color. Mr. Lewis, a leader in the civil rights movement, marched just last week in Alabama to protest that state's law targeting illegal aliens (who are mainly Hispanic). Mr. Lewis claims that not letting Hispanic illegal aliens remain in this country is racism and the new "civil rights" movement, even though, by definition, civil rights can only belong to citizens of a country.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kiki

      "Hispanic" includes people who consider themselves to be of distinct races (Black, White, Amerindian, Asian, and mixed groups). There is a common misconception in the US that Hispanic/Latino is a race, you can be white racially and hispanic ethnically.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ukonne.

      To kiki.
      Are you defending the race Hispanic?or are just trying to expanciate what Hispancians are?

      March 22, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kiki

      The word "Latino" is often used as a synonym for "Hispanic". The definitions of both terms are non-race specific, and include people who consider themselves to be of distinct races (Black, White, Amerindian, Asian, and mixed groups).However, there is a common misconception in the US that Hispanic/Latino is a race

      March 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kiki

      Hispanis is not a race. Why can't you guys wrap your minds around that?

      March 22, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • david

      Dear sir, you are wrong about all Hispanics being people of color. I am from South America, my ancestors are European.. I am 100% Hispanic and I am white, thus, not a person of color

      March 23, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • cleat

      he aint white-try taking your blinders off

      March 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      just an FYI, they guy wasnt white

      March 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les

      "a loony white man'? what is your problem? What about fanning the flames of racism that you and others are trying to do by hijacking this case to suit your needs. And this Zimmerman is not Caucasian, he is hispanic.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • English101

      THANK YOU!!!!! So many people are lumping Hispanics in with whites. Im sorry but I am white and there are neighborhoods in south Miami that I "DO NOT BELONG IN" If i were in them I would be VERY VERY careful to go where i needed to be, stay there and not "wander around". The "right to be" somewhere doesnt replace common sense as to wether you should be careful if you are there.

      March 22, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taylor

      Zimmerman is clearly mexican.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jocob

      #1 he wasnt white you idiot. You are the racist here.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zimmerman was not white

      I think my name says it all.. In your "looney" response

      March 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kile

      Zimmerman is Hispanic. Not white. Get your facts straight.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • GG

      HAHAHA!!! Trayvon got what he deserved!!!

      March 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nikola

      One can only hope that you too get what you deserve. Finger crossed.

      March 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*Melody Crumble

      and u will get what u deserve too!!!

      March 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      Wow, such ignorance, noone (even you) deserve to be shot down like a dog

      March 23, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • theinternet

      IHE WASNT WHITE (keyword: spanish speaking minority). here, ill break that down further. spanish speaking minorities arent white. and i guess if you have skittles in your pocket, youre an angel. man you guys are amazing.

      n a letter to the Orlando Sentinel, Zimmerman’s father defended his son, saying the portrait in the media is “extremely misleading.” The letter reads, in part:

      “George is a Spanish speaking minority with many black family members and friends. He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever.... The media portrayal of George as a racist could not be further from the truth...

      March 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I don't know how you can speak for what really happened. As for the guy being white, he was Hispanic... This is a trajic incident that needs to be looked at by trained authorities. The blame game as too stop.... Communication should've gone both ways... My prayers go out to the families involved....

      March 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • jake

      FYI , you are a racist if you assume hes white

      March 22, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • L

      Isn't Zimmerman Hispanic??

      March 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aces Full

      you knew the kid personally so that's why you can say he was a good boy? btw, Zimm is hispanic, not white – racist tool

      March 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amaretta

      Nope, there were no white people involved in this one.

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

      Thats not what it says in News .

      March 22, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • EJ

      For Humberto....he actually told his girl friend he was being followed....they were trying to figure a way for him to get away from the man who was following him....you know, like men who abduct and kill......

      March 22, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Amadi

      Honestly Lauradet there are ignorant people out there. No point trying to reason wit such people

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

      Hispanic male, get your facts straight, just because he is lighter than you dont make him white

      March 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • voyager616

      Oh really! So you have read the police report? So you were there? It s VERY CLEAR as to where CNN stands on this..so much for unbiased reporting..and nice picture of a young black boy in a footbal uniform..how do we know what person this kid was? Lots of thugs can dress nice andplay sports,,but they are what they are. Sanford PD has not charged Zimmerman because he did not break any laws.

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

      Anything you cannot prove in court is just a claim. You may be right, but the fact you cannot prove you are right means you do not arrest, you do not go to court until you can. Otherwise, you're going to lose the fight.

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

      He was a good boy? So you knew him personally? There are only two people who really know what happened and one of them is no longer with us. Stop blindly taking sides on an issue none of us can fully understand.

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

      Zimmerman is NOT WHITE! He is Hispanic! Get it right!

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

      Hispanic is NOT a race!!! When we do the census, I check black, my brothers check white- EVEN THOUGH WE SPEAK SPANISH!

      This shows exactly how racist white people are. That a white man is isn't white because he speaks Spanish??

      March 24, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • alex_santarelli

      he was chased by a looney trigger happy Latino not a white man

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

      Don't listen to nonsense honey....that's all some of these comments are.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • BillyBob117

      Now please tell me how you know he was a good boy. Why does not the state run media show a more current photo of the boy, instead of one that was taken years ago. And from the other photo, the innocent until proven man is hispanic and not white. Never forget that blacks and hispanics hate each other.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      YOU DON'T KNOW THAT...YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT MARTIN.....DOD YOU KNOW THAT MARTIN IS 6–3 ?? DO YOU KNOEW THAT MARTIN IS A LOT OLDER THAN THOSE CNN PICTURES ?

      March 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      Yes, he is 17 yrs old, a teenage child, he was NOT the legal age to buy alcohol, cigarettes, or even get in a club...He was a young boy, how old was his murderer Zimmerman?

      March 22, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoJo

      Too bad he wasn't old enough to carry a gun to protect himself and stand his ground.

      March 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoJo

      I know. Why do you think they keep showing pictures of him when he was 13 yrs old? More sympathy to fuel the race riots. If I lived there I would stock up on ammo. To protect myself and family.

      March 22, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ivy league 123

      so just because your 6'3 and have skittles in your pocket you have to be gunned down. And then not even investigated by the authorities accurately. Just another body in the grass right?

      March 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JD

      @lauradet, Zimmerman isn't white. He's Hispanic. He's about as white as Obama.

      March 22, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • ndc

      Hispanics are now considered to be "white"? I think I'm starting to get it–when Hispanics are needed to assist the Democrats in voter fraud, they are an oppressed minority. But a Hispanic who shoots a black kid miraculously turns into a white guy so that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton can cash in and we get to re-live all the misery of Jim Crow laws? I understand.

      March 22, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Check your facts – Zimmerman is half-Cuban, so he actually is an ethnic minority. The media seems to be glossing over this tiny little fact.

      March 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • j.d.

      latinos are not white no matter how hard they try !

      March 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      You speak as if you were there. I assume you have come forward to the authorities as an eyewitness?

      No? Then perhaps we had better let our justice system do its work, and if we feel justice has not been served in the end, we work to change the system within the political process. Let's stop trying they guy in the press, and let's stop canonizing Trayvon Martin as if we know for sure he did nothing wrong. That's why we have police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, grand juries, judges and trial juries, not to mention courts of appeal.

      March 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • smitvict

      People like you are the reason the press and public opinion become the judge and executioner. The FACTS will determine the outcome of this case . . . either way. As the FACTS should. Not something you heard Al Sharpton say on MSNBC.

      March 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cosmo

      Hes a Mexican or Cuban..he isnt white

      March 22, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Cuban = Sea Mexican

      March 22, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • stevetundra

      Zimm. was Hispanic. I'm white and I sure don't consider him white!!!

      March 22, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      lauradet, I just wanted to say I am sorry about your loss, I am assuming you were a family friend or family member based on your comments?

      March 22, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      the guy is not white. WHy is this being stated again and again. He is HISPANIC. A big difference, but it doesnt get everybody's attentions. Just like the 100 other black kids that have been gunned down in the last month since this happens. Why do these other cases not get any press? Ill tell you why, CNN and all the other media outlets can get ratings unless they race bait.

      March 22, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lindy

      Zimmerman is HIspanic. The fact and his picture are all over the media. So, why do you describe him as a "looney white man"? You're just going to foment more racial polarization and hate. But maybe that's what you want.

      March 22, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • T.Wagner

      Next time you post get your facts straight. One- you don't know what the 17 year old was doing. Two- Zimmerman is not white.

      March 22, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoJo

      Skittles in his pocket doesn't prove anything. Skittles are standard fare in prison commissary too. Does that prove anything about him. You're just so shallow with that skittle line.

      March 22, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yes

      stop saying white when he is a latino

      March 22, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy Joe Hillbilleh

      Good boys don't get suspended from school.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Ivy league 123

      I got suspended in middle school. I attend Yale now. LAW. Your point?

      March 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ben

    The stand your ground law is great. This particular incident it should not have been applied to. Even the guy who wrote the law says it doesn't apply. If Zimmerman thought this kid was a danger, then Zimmerman wasn't standing his ground, he was actively going after the kid and putting himself in danger. And if he didn't think the kid was a danger, then why did he follow him?

    This has nothing to do with the stand your ground law, which in itself helps to guarantee our freedom from oppression.

    March 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jordi

    I am from Miami. Do you know how many white and hispanic people get killed by blacks in the sunshine city? Too many CNN needs to start reporting those crimes as well.

    March 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Solange822

      Im from Miami too, give me a break. This isnt just about race, and you know it. A man shot an unarmed child and has not even been arrested for it. THAT's the main story. Race has been brought up as a factor, but it isn't what caught the public's attention. Find me a story where a black man shot an unarmed white teen for no reason, and wasnt arrested, and then you might have a point. But we know that's not going to happen

      March 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Classified

      Amen

      March 22, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Classified

      Amen brother.

      Jordi

      I am from Miami. Do you know how many white and hispanic people get killed by blacks in the sunshine city? Too many CNN needs to start reporting those crimes as well.

      March 22, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Althalos

      Not the same case Jordi, in this case the shooter is known and was not arrested.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lee

    Keep violence out of the concern. Our sympathy to both individuals and their families. Problems can happen easily.

    March 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kevin

    So why bother teaching people they may be killed through no fault of their own?

    March 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
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