Op/Ed by Rachel Knight

George Zimmerman was acquitted.

Look. I’m an investigative journalist. Most of my assignments involve racism. I’ve seen a lot of shameless, grotesque actions made by individuals and large groups. The George Zimmerman incident still shocks me.

He was even acquitted of manslaughter. How does that happen?

Tonight I’ve heard people say, “wouldn’t you have been afraid if you lived in a bad neighborhood and you saw some guy in a hoodie?”

What? Why? It’s an article of clothing that nearly everyone wears from time to time.

The last thing I would ever be afraid of is a teenage kid walking down the street, minding his own business. He didn’t even have his hands free. He was eating. He was barely alert enough to defend himself, let alone plan an attack.

When Zimmerman was on the phone with 911, the operator was flabbergasted by the fact that Zimmerman was following Martin. Standing one’s ground, in the metaphorical sense, is not following someone you feel suspicious of. The operator specifically said “Are you following him? We don’t need you to do that.” He was nervously laughing. George Zimmerman didn’t accidentally kill Trayvon Martin, and it is not understandable for him to think that his safety was in danger.

Who follows an attacker? Who disregards 911 operators to preserve their own life? How was this person not even charged for the accidental death of another person, when the fatality was intended and the victim could not reasonably have been called suspicious?

Bottom line: the point of a prison is to protect the public. How is George Zimmerman, who would kill a child out of a false sense of danger, not a danger to the public?

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