Among other things in the Trayvon Martin shooting, I’ve been impressed by the relative calm of Martin’s family, who, after all, lost a son armed only with Skittles to a self-appointed neighborhood policeman carrying a gun who was suspicious at the sight of Martin walking through his neighborhood.
Trayvon Martin’s parents chose Today for their first media appearance the day after George Zimmerman’s arrest, where Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, sounded pretty compassionate toward the man who shot her son. “I believe it was an accident,” she said, adding, “I believe that it just got out of control and [Zimmerman] couldn’t turn the clock back. I would ask him, did he know that that was a minor, that that was a teenager, and that he did not have a weapon?” She asked Zimmerman to apologize.
An accidental shooting could still be judged manslaughter, a lesser offense that could be included in prosecution of the second-degree murder charge. The facts need to be evaluated independently and a jury of peers is a good way to do it. Even if a judge dismisses the charge short of trial, there’ll be some public airing of facts. Neither George Zimmerman nor anyone else should be freed without accountability in the shooting of an unarmed person on mere recitation of a Stand Your Ground law when no evidence of justification exists other than the shooter’s own word and other evidence presents a different picture of events.