Justice Comes Late, Victory Escapes

After 45 days of vacation, justice returned to work on April 11 when George Zimmerman was arrested and charged with murder for the gunshot death of Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman’s arrest came far too late for anyone to look at this case as anything but a miscarriage of justice. A man killed a boy then received gentle and almost friendly handling from the police. Those police should have done their jobs in a far more professional manner. Those police should have recognized that the dead kid was the actual victim, not the living man with the deadly weapon. Though he still is entitled to a trial that will determine his ultimate culpability, some facts of the matter are undisputed. Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed teenager. Nothing in that sentence is in question.

I confess to being pleased when the news of Zimmerman’s arrest broke. The chatter surrounding this story reinforced my awareness of the racist attitudes still subtly surviving in our nation, and bewildered me with the lackadaisical concern local law enforcement officials displayed in handling Trayvon’s death. Yesterday’s news felt like a victory, no matter how late-coming.

But then I saw Trayvon Martin’s parents on television.

They expressed gratitude and relief over the arrest. They held hope that justice would prevail in court, and that Trayvon’s legacy would lead to positive change. But as I watched them I was struck by the unchanged fact of their permanent loss. Their son is no more, and Zimmerman’s arrest doesn’t reverse that. Their boy is dead. Always. Forever.

There can be no victory with that realization.


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Jake Negovan drives Red Brown and Blue to be an outlet for progressive political opinion that leads to the betterment of life for the real, multicultural population of the U.S. and the rest of the world. His columns address the issues faced by our country as we continue growing toward a society of equality. More about Jake can be found on the web at jakejots.com or on Twitter@jakenegovan.

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