Standing Your Ground, The Battle For Justice, Part 2:

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I haven’t posted in a few months, but I was suddenly inspired to give an “update” from the spark of last years controversial discussion The Battle For Justice Part 1:. Welcome to The Battle For Justice Part 2:.

State of Florida v. George Zimmerman

On July 13, 2013, after two days of deliberations, the jury returned with a verdict of not guilty for both second-degree murder and the lesser included charge of manslaughter.  Five of the jurors were White Females, and the Sixth juror was a Female considered non-White, or mixed Black and Hispanic.

The decision of six jurors have single handily sparked conversations, boycotts of Florida, rallies, and riots, addressing racism across the nation. Many blame the NAACP and Media for race baiting and overshadowing their personal emotions from facts within the case, while many question their own safety and justice after such verdict.

Protesters around the country -100 rallies on July 21-22, 2013 called on the Obama administration to prosecute George Zimmerman, the man acquitted of killing unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, on civil rights grounds.

On July 19, 2013 President Obama entered the White House Briefing Room. Below are memorable quotes addressing his personal thoughts and feelings following the verdict: 

 “When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son,” Obama said in the most-quoted line of his reflection. “Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”

“In the African-American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here. I think it’s important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.”

“There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they are shopping at a department store — and that includes me.”

“There are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me, at least before I was a senator.”

“There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off.”

“That happens often and I don’t want to exaggerate this but those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida and it’s inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear.”

“If a white male teen would have been involved in this scenario,” Obama said, “both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.”

“For those who resist that idea that we should think about something like these Stand Your Ground laws, I just ask people to consider, if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk.”

“And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had followed him in a car because he felt threatened?

“And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.”

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Following a request from the FBI, the Sanford Police Department reported on June 18, 2013 that it has halted its plan to return George Zimmerman’s gun and other pieces of evidence used at his murder trial.

The move is a clear sign that the U.S. Department of Justice is moving ahead with its investigation into whether the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer violated the civil rights of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black 17-year-old he shot in Sanford last year.

With all federal civil rights crimes, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted intentionally and with the specific intent to do something which the law forbids – the highest level of intent in criminal law.  Negligence, recklessness, mistakes and accidents are not prosecutable under the federal criminal civil rights laws.

The battle for justice continues…

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