Peter Ryan’s CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC: Death of Trayvon MartinSlideShare URL:
The Issue• George Zimmerman of Florida called the police at night to inform them that there was a suspicious person outside his home.• While on the phone with the 911 Dispatcher, Zimmerman went outside and confronted the individual.• Zimmerman shot and killed the individual with a 9mm handgun.• The victim was 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.• While staying at a friend’s house to watch football, he made a trip to the local store to buy iced tea and Skittles.• Upon passing in front of Zimmerman’s home, Zimmerman emerged and confronted him.• Zimmerman followed Martin down the street before shooting him in the back.
Zimmerman’s Side• Florida’s recently passed Vigilante Act makes it legal for citizens to attack criminals and suspicious people with intent to kill.• The Florida Police have responded that under the Vigilante Act, it was legal for Zimmerman to attack Martin if he felt threatened.
Zimmerman’s Side• Zimmerman reported that Martin had a suspicious object in his hands.• This is a legal defense under the Vigilante Act, and as such Zimmerman was not criminally charged.
Zimmerman’s Side• Zimmerman reportedly regrets his decision to shoot Martin.• There are currently no changes planned to the Vigilante Act.• Zimmerman’s supporters view the subsequent protests of the Vigilante Act as unjustified.
Martin’s Side• Members of Martin’s family have accused the police of a cover-up.• The audio recording of Zimmerman’s 911 call was edited to remove what many believe to be a racial slur.• One can also hear Martin running from Zimmerman and telling him to stop following him before he is shot.
Martin’s Side• Zimmerman had called the police over 40 times in the last three months to report suspicious activity, and should have been investigated.• Zimmerman cried at the scene, and Martin’s supporters are upset that conservative news sources are using this to profess his innocence.
Martin’s Side• Martin’s supporters have banded together to protest the Vigilante Act.• The protests are also meant to raise awareness of the situation, in order to turn public opinion against the Vigilante Act