We like to think of the law and the courts as being a pathway to truth and justice. It was a disappointment to see the pursuit of justice for Trayvon Martin take a bizarre turn and become a "self defense" case for George Zimmerman.

When on Neighborhood Watch, your duty is to observe, bear witness and report to the police. Under no circumstances are you to pursue and confront the person you see as "suspicious" and you are not to carry a gun. Trayvon is dead because George broke the rules.

While there was not criminal intent, George was guilty of extremely bad judgment. He made choices which led to Trayvon's death. He is responsible. He cited break-ins in the area perpetrated by young black men as legitimizing his action.

While George is not necessarily "racist,' clearly the narrative in his mind included the fact that Trayvon was a young "black" man.

We hear Trayvon's frightened  voice on the phone. He was being followed by a "creepy" man and he didn't know how to get away. There were two witnesses to the confrontation. George, who gave his explanation, and Trayvon, who is not here to give us his point of view. George claims Trayvon sprang out of the shadows and attacked him. In the tussle that followed, George emerged with a bloody nose and scratches on the back of his head.  He claimed he feared for his life and that he killed Trayvon in self defense. 

In court the argument was built on George's claim.  In relentless detail, the case was made that poor George was a victim. Also, we need to consider the "stand your ground" law and the permit to "conceal and carry."  "Stand your ground" legitimizes using lethal force if you fear for your life.

With "conceal and carry," by having a gun on your person you are more likely to resolve conflict with lethal force instead of relying on facts and reason. Trayvon went to a store to buy a snack around seven in the evening. His death and the trial that followed was a travesty of justice.     

Respectfully submitted,

Yvonne Nyenhuis,