From the beginning of their nightmare, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton wanted one thing: the arrest of George Zimmerman, the killer of their son Trayvon Martin. Ever since the Feb. 26 shooting of the unarmed teenager in Sanford, Fla., the volunteer neighborhood watch captain has been free, albeit in hiding. That all came to an end today. Angela Corey, a Florida state attorney appointed a special prosecutor in this tragic case, announced that Zimmerman was under arrest and would be charged with second-degree murder.
Nothing about this case has made sense. Nothing.
In the early evening of Feb. 26, Trayvon was on his way back in the rain to his dad’s fiancee’s apartment with an iced tea and a bag of Skittles. Spotting him, Zimmerman called 911 and told the operator, “Hey, we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there’s a real suspicious guy,” He would go on to say, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something.”
Trayvon was on the phone, too, with his girlfriend. “He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man,” she told the attorney for Trayvon’s parents. But, she said, Zimmerman cornered him. “Trayvon said, ‘What, are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.’ Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell. I called him again and he didn’t answer the phone.”
Zimmerman would be arrested and released because of his assertion of self-defense and Florida’s insane “Stand Your Ground” law. But nothing about his story made sense. Least of all his claim of having a broken nose or having his head repeatedly basehed into the sidewalk after a video was released of his arrival at the Sanford Police Department just 35 minutes after he killed Trayvon. It would reveal a relatively unscathed Zimmerman, not the man who said he was fighting for his life.
The court of public opinion has been working overtime since this tragic story flooded the national consciousness last month. That there are so many questions still unanswered have given some license to be judge and jury for both Trayvon and Zimmerman. And those unanswered questions, some so maddeningly simple, shook my faith in the justice system. I wondered if someone could take the life of another — an unarmed child — and not be judged in a court of law.
At 6:05, my faith was restored.
Jonathan Capehart on Zimmerman’s crumbling story: