Justice Demanded in the Death of Trayvon Martin/Vocabulary Demanded: wanted or asked for in a strong way Labeled: to describe and judge someone’s behavior based on how they look, stereotype them Racial profiling: pick someone out and accuse them of something because they are from a certain ethnic or racial group. Example: African American men are stopped by police more often because the stereotype is that they commit more crimes. Commit a crime: do a crime; steal kill or hurt property or someone Suspicious: not willing to trust someone or something Gated community: a neighborhood that has security gates so that unwanted people are kept out Triggerman: person who is shooting, holding the gun Consequences: results Vigilante: an unofficial way of being a member of a group that punishes suspected criminals Dispatcher: person who gives message over a phone or other form of news To stand out: something shows more strongly when compared to other things To be armed: to have guns Altercation: a physical fight between people “Squeaky clean” never had a problem on record, no criminal background Battery: assault, using physical force to hurt someone Resist arrest: forcefully not let an officer arrest you if he/she says, “ you are under arrest” Troubling: having a feeling that it is not right Condone: to approve of a behavior that most people think is wrong Enforcement: the act of making sure the law is followed Acquit: to say that someone didn’t do a crime Outraged: very angry Conscience: the set of feelings that tell you whether what you are doing is morally right or wrong Incarcerated: to be put in jail Investigation: an official look into the problems of a situation STORY: Justice Demanded in the Death of Trayvon Martin March 21, 2012 Marc H. Morial President and CEO National Urban League “Everybody is outraged. There is no justice in this.” - Tracy Martin, the father of Trayvon Martin Justice Demanded in the Death of Trayvon Martin Being a young black man has been called the hardest job in America. Young black men are much more likely than white men to be jobless, in jail and labeled “suspicious,” sometimes with deadly consequences. Such was the case on February 26th, when 17-year-old high school student, Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed by a white neighborhood-watch vigilante in Sanford, Florida. The shooter, George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old white Hispanic, noticed Trayvon walking through his gated community and called 911 to report a suspicious person. Instead of following the dispatcher’s instructions and ending his involvement there, Zimmerman continued following Trayvon. An altercation ensued and Trayvon was shot. Zimmerman claimed self defense and has not been charged with a crime. Trayvon’s parents are both heartbroken and outraged. As Benjamin Crump, the family’s lawyer put it, “If Trayvon would have been the triggerman, it’s nothing Trayvon Martin could have said to keep police from arresting him Day 1, Hour 1.” Of the many unanswered questions in this case, two stand out. First, Trayvon Martin, who had just stopped off at a convenience store, was armed only with a bag of Skittles and a can of ice tea. George Zimmerman, who weighed over 100 pounds more than the victim, was armed with a 9 millimeter handgun. Even if there was a physical altercation between the two, why was such deadly force necessary? Second, one of the reasons the police gave for not immediately arresting Zimmerman was that he had a “squeaky clean” record. A few days later it was discovered that Zimmerman had been arrested in 2005 for resisting arrest with battery on a police officer. Trayvon Martin, on the other hand, had no criminal record. These and other troubling facts have led the Central Florida Urban League and others, to call on the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation. Central Florida Urban League president and CEO, Allie Braswell said, “A private citizen taking law enforcement into his own hands cannot be condoned. If it is found that a crime has been committed, the shooter must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” This case is now generating national attention and we will be following it closely. We do not know for sure why George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. But we do know, according to a 2011 College Board report, that 45 percent of African American high school graduates between the ages of 15 and 24 will end up “unemployed, incarcerated or dead.” We also know that the murder of innocent black men in the American South is nothing new. Fifty- seven years ago, the white murderers of 14-year old Emmitt Till in the Mississippi Delta were acquitted of the crime in a clear case of racial injustice. As the father of a 10-year old African American son, I join all African American parents and Americans of conscience everywhere in calling for an end to the war against young black men and a thorough investigation of the death of Trayvon Martin. Source URL: http://www.iamempowered.com/node/24187 Discussion Questions: What is racial profiling? Why are people calling this a case of racial profiling? 1. How old was Treyvan Martin? What was he doing on February 26th? 2. How old is George Zimmerman? What did he claim happened on February 26th? 3. Why hasn’t George Zimmerman been arrested? What should he be prosecuted for, according to the Urban League? 4. What did the lawyer of the parents mean when he said, “If Trayvon would have been the triggerman, it’s nothing Trayvon Martin could have said to keep police from arresting him Day 1, Hour 1.” 5. Watch the ABC news and read the article on our Class Web Page for more recent comments. Does the news media show the whole story in a fair and equal way? 6. Discuss what each side is saying and doing. Questions Trayvon Martin’s George Zimmerman’s Supporters Supporters How old and how big is each person? What happened physically to each person? What is each side claiming? What does each side say happened… in the gated community What does each side say happened at the car Are there quotes from witnesses to the scene? Who said what?
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