Monday, March 26, 2012

People Organize in Kansas to express support for Florida Teen's tragic death.

I'm not one to chime in to much on controversal criminal actions but it appears that many people across the nation are outraged with the death of this young man.  I am not sure what exactly happened but its just  a damn shame this kid died. I think that this man needs to stop pretending he is a police officer. 

I understand protecting your belongings and your family, but maybe this man should have just let it go or called the police and let them pursue it.  Police have special training for these types of conflict situations  and there is a reason for that.  This is it.  Normal people aren't equiped to fight crime.

It appears that many other people feel the same way.  Here is the article in the Eagle.

Hundreds march in northeast Wichita to protest Fla. teen’s killing

By: Dion Lefler

About 500 Wichitans gathered Friday for a march to protest the shooting death of an unarmed African-American teenager at the hands of a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida — and to call for repeal of a Kansas “stand your ground” law that is apparently more permissive of violence than the Florida statute that has shielded the shooter there from arrest.

The hastily organized protest started with about 250 people, with hundreds more driving by honking in support. Many of those passers-by parked and joined the demonstration, which began at the corner of 21st and Hillside and marched twice back and forth to a nearby Wichita police substation.  The march coincided with demonstrations across the country — some reaching the tens of thousands — protesting the shooting of Trayvon Martin, 17.

President Obama said the shooting should prompt Americans to “do some soul-searching.”

Personalizing the incident, the president said, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

Trayvon was shot Feb. 26 while walking home from a convenience store in the gated community of Sanford, Fla. Trayvon, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt in a light rain, had been watching the NBA All-Star game and walked to the store to buy iced tea and Skittles candies.  The local neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, 28, spotted Trayvon and called 911 to report him as a suspicious person. Ignoring a dispatcher’s advice not to pursue, Zimmerman left his car and followed Trayvon on foot, leading to the confrontation where the teen was shot to death.

Trayvon’s girlfriend has said she was on the phone with him until moments before his death and that he was scared that Zimmerman was following him. Police emergency tapes recorded someone screaming for help just before a gunshot, and what may have been a muttered racial slur by Zimmerman.   An attorney for Zimmerman said that his client is not racist and that the facts will show he acted in self-defense. Orlando criminal defense attorney Craig Sonner said Friday on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 that he has advised Zimmerman to cooperate in the investigation. Zimmerman told Sanford police that he shot Martin after a fight.  The controversy went national because Sanford police did not arrest Zimmerman or confiscate his weapon, saying he was shielded by Florida’s stand-your-ground law, which authorizes private citizens to use deadly force if they feel threatened with attack.

The Sanford police chief, who defended the decision not to arrest Zimmerman, has temporarily stepped down pending further investigation by state and federal authorities.  Many of the demonstrators in Wichita and elsewhere have joined in protest in what is being loosely termed the “Million Hoodie March,” a reference to the apparel item — a hooded sweatshirt — that appeared to have raised Zimmerman’s suspicions.  Marchers also waved cans of iced tea and bags of Skittles amid alternating chants of “I am Trayvon’s mother” and “I am Trayvon’s father.”

Treva Smith, marketing director for a home-health-care company, took time off from work to hold a sign reading “I love Skittles, iced tea and I’m black. Am I next?” She said she came to the march in support of Trayvon’s family.  “I don’t think justice has been served and I don’t think it’s going to be served,” she said.  Parrishon Marshall said the law has clearly failed.  “Kim Kardashian, they arrested someone for throwing flour on her, but nobody’s been arrested in this shooting,” she said.  While the marchers were predominantly African-American, a substantial number of white people also joined the protest.  Among them were the Rev. Gary Blaine, pastor of the Hearth, a Congregational church.
“Shoot first and ask questions later is part of the DNA of western society,” he said. “When you get those two things, racism and violence, wrapped together, it’s truly deadly.”

Mary Dean, a leader of the group Kansas Justice Advocates, said she was surprised by the turnout since she’d had only one day to get the word out.  “I really wasn’t expecting this big of a crowd,” she said. “People are really passionate about this issue.”  She carried a sign calling for the repeal of the stand-your-ground law.  “You can be walking with a hoodie and someone thinks you look suspicious and you can be shot? It’s scary,” she said.

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