Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Florida shooting of Trayvon Martin
Zimmerman overstepped authority
It would be ludicrous to suggest that Trayvon Martin had no right to be walking on a public street in the USA. [“Zimmerman’s version of fatal shot emerges,” page one, March 27.]
In his 911 call, Zimmerman never established any foundation for his assertion of suspicious behavior, other than that Martin was black and wearing a hoodie.
As a watch volunteer, Zimmerman had no authority to confront, or detain. His only function was to watch and report anything illegal. As a watch volunteer, he needed to comply after being told his engagement was no longer necessary. By asserting unwarranted authority he confronted, harassed and intimidated a U.S. citizen, denying Martin his civil right. Zimmerman provoked a confrontation knowing he could win with his 9 mm handgun.
We hear Zimmerman’s defenders speculating that Martin should have explained himself to this enforcement wannabe; however, Martin had no reason or obligation to do so. Defenders speak of Zimmerman’s injury supposedly inflicted by Martin who was much smaller and, more importantly, unarmed. How do we know that Zimmerman wasn’t bested in a previous altercation and was seeking retribution? Martin can’t explain.
— Alfred J. Vann, Seattle
‘Stand Your Ground’ laws should be investigated
I fully support my tax dollars being spent to investigate the impact “Stand Your Ground” laws have had on the increased number of justifiable homicide cases. [“Florida shooting reignites ‘Stand Your Ground’ debate,” News, March 25.]
I think the investigation should not just stop with these laws but should investigate why America among all Western countries has such a high number of its citizens being murdered. This country has a long history of violence, and for those among us who just want to point fingers, that is not getting us anywhere.
I have seen comments about black-on-black violence as if there is no other type of violence being committed. Just to state there is black-on-black violence is not enough. Might I remind them there is violence against gays, women, children, American Indians, husband kill wives, wives kill husbands, parents kill children, etc. No one in this country is completely immune from it.
Unless we get leaders with the backbone to tell us like it is and to get people to support them, this country is headed down a slippery road. Most important, media must give voice to those among us who really want to see this country come together to make life better for all its citizens, and not just those with the deepest pockets and most guns, as appears to have been the case with the “Stand Your Ground” laws.
— George Whitaker, Bellevue