“He killed my son.”
Words no father should ever utter, and yet that these words hang in the atmosphere over Sanford, Fla., like humidity on a dank summer’s eve; like an echo unanswered, demanding recompense.
Tracey Martin’s outcry at the killing of his 17-year-old son, Trayvon, armed only with a bag of Skittles and a bottle of Arizona Tea — cut down in the prime of life while walking to a friend’s house — has set off a firestorm of protests.
I join my voice to the growing list of “The Outraged.”
How can a father reconcile such an inexplicable act? How can he deal with such palpable grief? As a father and grandfather myself, I know that injustice is not something you necessarily define for your offspring. It is something you feel viscerally, share experientially and recognize when you see it. It alarms the senses, raises the hair on the back of one’s neck, and brings to the forefront of memory, tales of atrocities past, handed down generation to generation like fine linen.
The Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed all citizens equal protection under the law, and yet in this moment we are aggrieved over such a misappropriation of the very justice that so many gave their lives to achieve.
It is evolving into a case of two justices: separate and, like Jim Crow laws, far from equal.
From the apparent racial profiling, overt violation of neighborhood watch protocols and real-time police directives, to accusations of tampered evidence, to the failure to undertake reasonable measures afforded by the law, I count a multitude glaring discrepancies. How did “The System” fail to ensure that this boy’s life was not inconsequential?
As a citizen, I understand that no case is all black or all white, despite appearances to the contrary. I realize that justice is fraught with nuances, not the very least of which is Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which was designed to protect threatened parties, and in all irony of all ironies appears to be the very thing keeping the instigator out of prison, in complete contrast to the spirit of the controversial pro-gun law.
How can we trust the law when it fails to provide minimal protection for the victim and allows a killer to walk freely, virtually unexamined by police at the time of the crime or since?
To quote the accepted legal maxim, “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
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SOURCE: The Huffington Post
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