I see trials on TV every now and then. Currently, Jodi Arias has been on trial for like 100 years now for the killing of her boyfriend.
And right now, the Treyvon Martin case is still going on behind the scenes, somewhere, sort of…
And that made me wonder, why don’t we hear about it anymore? It was a huge national case, and it has yet to be resolved. So why has it disappeared from the public eye?
My hypothesis: We don’t hear about it anymore because it isn’t at all what we were initially sold.
The Treyvon Martin Case seemed like the ultimate sensational story. When I first heard about it, I heard about a stuck-up white guy in a gated neighborhood who found an unarmed black kid too close to where he lived, racially profiles him even while on the phone with 911*, confronted him, and killed him without any real justification. Then the good ‘ole boy cops in Florida don’t arrest him because they figured that that N word was probably part of a gang and was gonna kill people and die within a few years anyway. And, to top it off, the killer was going to claim an affirmative defense under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. It had everything a good story had. It had violence. It had whites abusing blacks. It had corrupt cops. It had what seemed like an obvious abuse of a law that the lberal, gun-hating, armed guard protected media abhors. It was the story of the decade at least!
(*Admittedly, I’m not totally sure if I have heard the 911 call until later, but bear with me).
And then it all fell apart.
The stuck up white guy who attacked a young black boy turned out to be a short, chubby Latino man who, by most accounts, was physically attacked by a much taller, scrappier teenager. The 911 call was doctored to make an innocent answer to the 911 operator’s question sound blatanly racist (at least one of the producers behind that story was fired because of it). The story that George Zimmerman gave, which may or may not be accepted by the jury, does at least make sense and, if true, would totally justify him legally and morally, (he claims that while Treyvon Martin was wailing on him, Martin saw his gun and attempted to reach for it, even telling Zimmerman that he was going to do so, which is why Zimmerman shot him). And it turns out that the Stand Your Ground defense isn’t even being used by George Zimmerman, so that goes right out with window with everything else.
What we’re left with is a man who isn’t white (biracial, which for racists is even worse than black), a man who was in a scuffle with an angry, consequence-disregarding teenager (who may or may not have been provoked), a non-white man who may or may not have been justified in using lethal force on said teenager, depending on the truth of his account (he did have some injuries which would consistent his story, injuries which the prosecuters may or may not have tried to hide from the court). He isn’t appealing to the Stand Your Ground Law at all, and the reason he wasn’t arrested at first was probably because the circumstances are unclear, unlike the black and white (in more ways than one) portrayal we were initially fed by the news.
In short, most of what we would consider mainstream media fell short, as usual, and the case is no longer all that interesting.
(Originally published 04/12/2013: http://3-ringbinder.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-disapearance-of-treyvon-martin-case.html. Immaterial changes have been made).