Trayvon Martin Case Prompts Reflections on Law, Order, and Community

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

By now, most of us have heard of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African-American boy who was shot and killed while walking through a friend’s gated community in Sanford, Florida. The shooter was George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman who is not black, and who thought Martin looked suspicious. Martin had no weapons on him — only a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea.

Zimmerman was questioned. He said that the shooting was in self-defense and invoked the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. After questioning, he was released — a fact that has many in the community feeling upset and uncertain about their criminal justice system. Throughout the next half hour, we’ll be talking with several people about this case.

Valerie Houston is Pastor at Allen Chapel Church in Sanford, Florida. Last night, she hosted a community meeting with the NAACP, the mayor of Sanford, the Sanford Chief of Police, and local residents.

Ben Montgomery is a staff writer with the Tampa Bay Times. He’s extensively investigated the “Stand Your Ground” law and compiled statistics on how and when it’s been invoked.

Farai Chideya is a journalist and blogger at Farai will help us explore whether laws like “Stand Your Ground” do more harm than good.


Farai Chideya, Valerie Houston and Ben Montgomery

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [4]

central scrutinizer

John Hockenberry is not an objective journalist. His repeated use of the word "outrage" and references to lynching reveal his own bias and desire to make this story about race. His attempt to steer the talking points of this story do more to create racial dischord than to decrease tensions and seek resolution of this disturbing tragedy.

Mar. 21 2012 10:41 AM

"listener" - are you comparing protestors refusing to leave a park with the tragic death of an innocent, 17-year-old?

Mar. 21 2012 09:59 AM

The media decides what "story dominated the national conversion" just as the widespread crime committed by the Occupy movement was purposefully downplayed by the national media. Was that about "acting out of hate or acting out of bounds" and why was the "national conversation" this month focused on contraceptives and not the violation of the US Constitution by this administration?
Why is this criminal case deliberately being magnified while other cases that run counter to the progressive narrative ignored?

Mar. 21 2012 09:54 AM
John from NYC

This entire segment is VERY disturbing. It has failed to present the known and allegded FACTS in the case, and used unlimited innuendo to imply that the law is wrong.

Wrong?????? What is the alternative? If you life is threatened, you cannot do anything about it?????

If there was no threat to the shooter, then he committed a crime.

If there was, he perhaps did not.

This presentation is not NEWS, it is a disguised EDITORIAL against this law.

Mar. 21 2012 09:28 AM

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