Jury identified with Zimmerman’s, not Martin’s, fear




TryingMyBestsquare“The jury clearly believed that you have a right to defend yourself” said Jude Faccidomo, the former president of Miami’s Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers — Tribune, July 14. Is this really happening? Are they really saying such stupid things?

How does Zimmerman acquire the right to defend himself over Martin’s right to defend himself? Faccidomo also said “When cases are so gray like this one was, self-defense really resonates because people can associate with being afraid.” Huh?

Oh yes, being afraid of a stranger with a gun stalking you at night in the rain, and then confronting you. Zimmerman’s fear means nothing, because his unjust and stupid behavior caused his and Martin’s fear.

The “self-defense really resonated because people can associate with being afraid” of a Black man, regardless of the facts or truth of the situation. What does it take for a Black man to be able to exercise his right to protect himself when someone unjustly threatens or endangers his life?

How does Zimmerman acquire the right to violently defend himself, a right that is so elusive and unattainable for Martin to acquire — when Zimmerman disobeyed the police dispatcher, continued to pursue Martin and was also armed? Martin has every right to believe his life is in danger and then act upon it.

As I wrote in an editorial when this first came out, it is like a burglar being given the right to kill the homeowner in self-defense, after the homeowner, feeling threatened, attacks him. It has been backward since day one.


Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.