On February 26, 2012, Trayvon bought a pack of skittles for his 12 year old soon to be stepbrother, and a can of Arizona Iced tea for himself, and begin to walk home. On his way home, George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch coordinator at the Retreat at Twin Lakes, profiled him, labeled him as suspicious, and begin to follow him. Trayvon saw Zimmerman following him, and he began to run. Zimmerman told a 911 operator that Trayvon was running. Then he got out of his car to follow him on foot. George Zimmerman was carrying a loaded, concealed weapon while he followed Trayvon who was unarmed. Trayvon Benjamin Martin didn't make it home that night because George Zimmerman murdered him.
Zimmerman wasn’t arrested the night of the murder because Florida Statute 776.032 (2) States that a police officer cannot detain you or arrest you for shooting someone unless they have probable cause to believe the force you used was unlawful or if you shoot a police officer while they're in the act of performing their duties. Law Enforcement didn’t arrest Zimmerman the night of the murder because they claimed they didn’t have probable cause.
However, George Zimmerman admitted to profiling Trayvon, he admitted to following Trayvon, and he changed his story numerous times during police interrogations. The Detective admitted that George Zimmerman was an overzealous vigilante who took the law into his own hands, and that Zimmerman over exaggerated his injuries. They had probable cause that night, but they let Zimmerman go, and they let him claim Self-Defense.
Then people all over the world marched, and signed petitions to get Justice for Trayvon. Finally, On April, 11, 2012, almost 2 months after Trayvons murder Zimmerman was arrested and charged with Second degree Murder. However, on July 13, 2013, a jury found him not guilty of Second degree Murder or Manslaughter. Then to make matters worse; on July 15, 2013, Juror B37 admitted that George Zimmerman went too far, that he didn’t use good judgment, and that he should have stayed in his car. Yet she voted him not guilty.
This Petition calls for Florida Statute 776.041 (2) (A) to be redacted or revised.
776.041 (2) (A) allows an aggressor to use deadly force even though they started the aggressive act, confrontation or altercation.
776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.
Also, this petition calls for the Neighborhood Watch Handbooks to be revised. The current handbooks aren’t detailed enough, and leave too much room for misinterpretation. The revised handbooks should include specific do's and don'ts for its members, and local or state laws that they must abide by while they're performing their duties. The revised handbook should also include rules that the Coordinator must follow. Not specifying these rules can lead a regular citizen to believe that they have the power to make Law enforcement decisions.
Most importantly, it calls for a new law to be made in Trayvon's name. A law that will prevent someone from claiming self-defense after they've done the following:
TRAYVON MARTIN LAW
1. Unless you are a member of Law enforcement you are not allowed to chase an unknown person while you’re in possession of a concealed weapon unless that person has harmed you or they are attempting to cause bodily harm to you or someone else. Following, chasing or confronting an unknown person who is in an authorized area or public area while you’re in possession of a concealed weapon just because you think they’re suspicious will waive your right to claim self-defense should said person end up dead. An aggressor carrying a deadly or concealed weapon can't claim self-defense if they follow, chase, or confront an unknown person who isn't in the act of committing a violent crime towards them or anyone else, and that person ends up dead. If you think said person is suspicious contact law enforcement instead of taking the law into your own hands.
2. Unless you're a member of Law Enforcement; following, chasing or confronting someone who has not caused you bodily harm or attempted to cause you or someone else bodily harm, while you are carrying a concealed or deadly weapon will be considered an aggressive act in itself; because that act alone automatically puts said person in fear of their life. An aggressor carrying a deadly weapon enters the situation with more force than their victim has. Therefore they have an advantage over their victim who doesn't have access to the amount of force needed to stand their ground or protect themselves from the aggressor.
3. Following, chasing or confronting an unknown person while you're carrying a deadly weapon, should be seen as an aggressive or threatening act because you are putting that person in fear of their life. Also, you shouldn't be allowed to claim self-defense should that person end up dead as a result of the escalation of that act. Should that act lead to their death you should be charged with the highest degree of murder applicable to you or manslaughter.
4. An adult carrying a deadly weapon waives their right to claim self-defense if they follow, chase or confront an unknown minor, and that minor ends up dead or injured. Unless that minor has caused bodily harm to them or someone else or is attempting to cause bodily harm to them or someone else.