Trayvon Martin case: A collision of race, guns and Florida law

Sanford, Fla., on Thursday braced for what could be a biggest day of demonstrations over a genocide of Trayvon Martin, a black teen shot by a area watch officer, George Zimmerman, final month. For those only throwing adult to a box that has galvanized a republic — lifting authorised and amicable issues about race, guns and self-defense — here’s some background.

What do we know?

The initial proviso of a box happened a night of Feb. 26.

Martin, 17, was walking behind to his father’s residence in a gated village in Sanford, a suburb of Orlando, Fla. He had bought a package of Skittles and an iced tea from a preference store in a city of about 53,000 residents. A infancy of a city’s residents are white; only underneath a third are black.

Zimmerman, 28, was patrolling a area when he saw Martin. He called military to news his suspicions and afterwards followed a teenager, yet military recordings quote a runner as observant he should stay away.

Moments later, Zimmerman — identified as a Latino by his family, and as white by critics of a successive review — was in a quarrel with Martin, eventually sharpened a unarmed teen once, murdering him.

What happened next?

The debate starts with a second proviso — a issue of a shooting.
 
Local military responded to a occurrence and questioned Zimmerman; authorities did medical tests on a upheld teen though not on Zimmerman.

According to several reports, military contend Zimmerman told them he chased Martin though gave adult and was returning to his lorry when a teen pounded him. Police contend Zimmerman had blood on a behind of his head.

Zimmerman, who is claiming self-defense, was expelled and has not been charged in a shooting.

What is a family’s position?

The family, corroborated by inhabitant and internal polite rights leaders, contend that Martin was in risk — as is any other African American teen out alone after dark, they add. Because of his race, Martin immediately seemed questionable to a white chairman on patrol, generally one whose training was distant reduction than that perceived by veteran police.

Further, a family insists, if a black officer had shot a white teen, he would have been charged and held  — and drug and ethanol tests would have been carried out on a officer and not only a victim, who in this box was drug-free.

“They are creation it demeanour like Zimmerman is a victim,” Benjamin Crump, profession for Martin’s relatives pronounced of a police, according to several media interviews. “And their son is in a grave. It’s about equal justice.”

What is a internal military position?

Police insist they investigated and let Zimmerman go since officers were “prohibited from creation an detain formed on a contribution and resources they had during a time,” including a earthy evidence.

“The Sanford Police Department has conducted a finish and satisfactory review of this incident,” police arch Bill Lee said in a prepared statement.

What happens subsequent is adult to prosecutors who have convened a grand jury for Apr 10.

What is a law per self-defense?

Florida is one of 21 states with some form of a stand-your-ground law allows people to legally use lethal force if they fear for their life.

In general, a laws, corroborated by gun rights advocates, concede a chairman to stay and quarrel rather than rush a confrontation. The laws have opposite requirements, depending on a state. Some mention that a shooter has to have a authorised arms and has to have a right to be where he or she is.

It will be adult to a grand jury to establish if Zimmerman’s self-defense explain meets Florida’s authorised tests, including either Zimmerman had reason to fear for his life during a confrontation.

The Florida chronicle of a law, corroborated with a support of a National Rifle Assn., was upheld in 2005.  According to a Associated Press, Florida Department of Law Enforcement statistics uncover that, before a law was enacted, there were about 13 supposed fit killings any year by adults from 2000 to 2005. Between 2006 and 2010, a normal has risen to 36 fit killings any year.

Some state lawmakers have already begun to doubt either a Florida law is too broad, observant they’re deliberation legislation that would redefine a drift underneath that self-defense could be claimed. Republican Gov. Rick Scott, a regressive inaugurated after a law was passed, told reporters this week he’s open to changes if a Martin box shows there are problems.

What is a sovereign angle?

Martin’s relatives and a Rev. Al Sharpton, a polite rights celebrity and radio personality,  have met with sovereign officials including a U.S. profession for a area. Federal officials are questioning a occurrence to see if there was a hatred crime that would concede them to prosecute.

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Michael.muskal@latimes.com