He’s only 17 years old. And – I really can’t repeat this enough – he’s walking down the street MINDING HIS OWN BUSINESS.
All of a sudden, he turns around and discovers there’s somebody following him. At least, that’s what Martin’s girlfriend says he told her in what would prove to be the final cell phone conversation of his short life.
Martin has no idea why he’s being followed, but he’d have been justified in assuming the worst: that the man following him was some kind of nut job stalker intent on doing him harm.
It is at that point that the right to self-defense, the right to “stand your ground,” applies to Martin, not Zimmerman.
If you’re part of a neighborhood watch program and make the decision, against the advice of police, to follow someone who in fact has committed no crime, then that becomes an at-your-own-risk proposition.
If you’re a 17-year-old being followed by someone you think might want to do you harm, you might be inclined to panic and attack that person.
And you’d be justified.
Yes, I believe there was a fight between Martin and Zimmerman. And I believe, as the photos indicate, that Martin was getting the better of it.
But, and any man who’s been on the receiving end of an ass whipping will concede this, getting the worst of a fistfight has never been grounds for fatally shooting the guy giving you the beat down, unless the guy is either a professional boxer or trained mixed martial arts combatant.
As much as Zimmerman’s supporters have tried to portray Martin as an arch criminal with a history of violence – neither of which happens to be true – they’ve presented no evidence to indicate that the youth was a professional boxer or trained mixed martial arts combatant.
What those supporters have proved is this: Zimmerman thought he was a badass neighborhood watch captain who thought he could handle his business, but couldn’t.
Had he just recognized what a PAB he really is, and stood down accordingly, he wouldn’t be facing second-degree murder charges today.
And Trayvon Martin would be looking forward to celebrating his 18th birthday.