A Calculated Risk (The Case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman)

A calculated risk was taken on February 26, 2012, and at first blush it appeared that the risk paid off.  It was on February 26, 2012, when neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, states that he noticed a suspicious looking man lurking around in his gated community located in Sanford, Florida.  He called 911 to report the “suspicious” man. The 911 operator asked a number of questions regarding the description of the person of interest who George Zimmerman spotted and was now referring to as the “suspect”. While George Zimmerman answered the operator’s questions, he also went beyond basic description. In his attempt to convey just how serious he thought the matter was, he started peppering his description by using derogatory language that was racially-based. He characterized Mr. Tryvon Martin’s behavior as “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about”. His frustration was evidenced by the statement these coons/goons always get away with it.  I believe it is safe to say that his references in this instance could have only applied to one particular group of men since there had been a series of robberies in George Zimmerman’s neighborhood, and according to the accounts of some of the people living in this gated community, all of the perpetrators were African American males.  There was a long record of 911 calls made by George Zimmerman and in every one of the calls the suspicious person was African American.  Therefore, during this particular 911 call, there is no reason to believe that George Zimmerman was referring to anyone else but African American males, because there was absolutely no reason to mention any other ethnic group.

At some point while talking to the 911 operator, George Zimmerman decides to exit his vehicle to follow the man whom he decided was suspicious looking.  At the point when he decided to exit his vehicle, George Zimmerman had already decided to take a calculated risk.  A calculated risk is defined as “a risk that you take carefully consider the possible results.” Although George Zimmerman was found “Not Guilty” by a jury of six women on July 12, 2013, I respectfully challenge the premises upon which the jury decided its verdict.

While the case that the State presented was abysmal,  there was still enough evidence to prove at the very least, a case of  manslaughter.  The defense attorneys were successful in convincing the jury that Mr. Trayvon Martin was the aggressor in the altercation between him and George Zimmerman.  Throughout the trial, George Zimmerman’s attorneys meticulously destroyed Mr. Trayvon Martin’s character to the point that the man described by the defense attorneys did not even begin to resemble the boy who had just turned 17 as described by family members and friends. The defense attorneys’ description was not consistent with Mr. Trayvon Martin’s police record because THERE WAS NO CRIMINAL RECORD.  The defense attorneys then decided to take a calculated risk.  Because Mr. Trayvon Martin did not fit the description of the “suspect” that George Zimmerman described to the 911 operator, the defense attorneys had no alternative but to manufacture a fictitious trayvon martin because Mr.Trayvon Benjamin Martin was the victim of George Zimmerman’s calculated risk and not the man whom George Zimmerman described.  Mr. Trayvon Martin was unarmed.  So the defense attorneys decided to manufacture a deadly weapon called “cement”.  They consistently spoke of and cross-examined the State’s star witness about Mr. Trayvon Martin’s description of George Zimmerman as a “cracker”, while they wanted the jury to disregard the 911 call wherein George Zimmerman was referring to Mr. Trayvon Martin in derogatory terms without knowing a thing about him.  The defense attorneys took a calculated risk and branded Mr. Trayvon Martin as a racist. The 911 tape was solid evidence that George Zimmerman followed Mr. Trayvon Martin.  Once again, the defense decided to take a calculated risk, and as ludicrous as it sounds, manufactured a theory suggesting that Mr. Trayvon Martin pursued George Zimmerman.

If Mr. Zimmerman was able to give the 911 operator a description of the man whom he was following, he had enough time to carefully consider the possible results of the actions he was about to take. Listening to the tapes, one can tell that George Zimmerman is walking, trotting, or running after Mr. Trayvon Martin by his labored breathing. The 911 operator sensed this and asked him if he was following Mr. Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman answered “yes”.  He was then told not do so.  Once again George Zimmerman carefully considered the possible results of the actions he was about to take, and decided that his calculated risk was worth taking.

The reason why George Zimmerman was willing to take the calculated risk was because Mr. Trayvon Martin did not fit the description of the goons/coons, thugs, or whomever else had been responsible for the robberies in George Zimmerman’s neighborhood.  During its investigation to prepare for trial, the State uncovered information and spoke to individuals who confirmed that George Zimmerman had a passion for law enforcement, so much so that he had taken law enforcement classes, including course study in “Stand Your Grown” laws, in which he excelled.  He had self-defense training.  Long before George Zimmerman met Mr. Trayvon Martin, he was preparing for February 26, 2012.  Then there were those defense witnesses who painted the pictures of a gentle man, a man who wasn’t in physical shape to battle with Mr. Trayvon Martin (contradictory description for someone who studies self-defense).  If all of these descriptions are true, and we must assume they are or else a whole lot of people perjured themselves, it is not unreasonable to conclude that an armed man with a passion for law enforcement, self-defense training, but not in the best shape to handle a physical altercation with a 17 year old young man, would only exit his vehicle and hunt down the person whom he described as a “suspect” because George Zimmerman decided that Mr. Trayvon Benjamin Martin was worth the calculated risk.

This is why George Zimmerman decided to take the calculated risk.  If he had seen a thug, a suspicious looking character, who was on drugs or something, lurking around in the dark in his gated community; if Mr. Trayvon Benjamin Martin really looked like the coons/goons who always got away; if George Zimmerman considered Mr. Trayvon Martin dangerous and capable of murder, George Zimmerman would have never exited his vehicle and there wouldn’t have been a chase, argument, struggle, or gun shot. George Zimmerman knew that a thug, coon/goon, or any other criminal would have known how to handle him, armed or otherwise.  He knew that the chances of him winning a battle with a thug were little to none. By George Zimmerman’s calculations, (which he would never admit to) he wouldn’t have to chase down a thug because the thug would have never attempted to run away from him.  The fact that Mr. Trayvon Martin did what frightened children do (run away from danger), his running away confirmed to George Zimmerman that his target was afraid of him.  He was willing to take the calculated risk because he carefully considered the outcome if things did get out of hand.

George Zimmerman spotted an innocent 17 year old young man, who didn’t look menacing in the least.  The build of Mr. Trayvon Martin’s body still looked like that of a gangly 17 year-old.  So an armed man, such as George Zimmerman, had no reason to feel threatened by Mr. Trayvon Martin who was running away in fear. George Zimmerman carefully considered the results of his action because he wasn’t about to put himself in harm’s way.  Long before he met Mr. Trayvon Martin, he had been preparing, training, and rehearsing to ensure the outcome of February 26, 2012.  So on February 26, 2012, by his calculations, Mr. Trayvon Martin, was easy prey.  The chances were that he could scare him out of the neighborhood and be herald has a hero.   The chances were that this tall and skinny kid was a real threat were minimal.  The chances that George Zimmerman’s prey could handle a gun were minimal.  When this gangly 17 year-old couldn’t get away from him and decided to challenge him, this even made him angrier.  How dare he, thought George Zimmerman?  Fired up and fueled by anger and frustration, George Zimmerman made the ultimate calculated risk.  Although Mr. Trayvon Martin tried to exercise his right to stand his ground, he was no match for a man who had been preparing, training, and rehearsing for the night of February 26, 2012.

The calculated risk and the verdict did not pay off, however.  George Zimmerman’s victory began and ended on Saturday evening, July 12, 2013.  He will forever be known as the neighborhood watchman who killed an unarmed 17 year old boy who had no criminal record. Neighborhood Watchman is the pinnacle of his imaginary law enforcement career. He will never have the illustrious career in law he was feverously planning for.  He will never wear the badge of honor he had been relentlessly pursuing, or receive numerous citations from local, state, or federal authorities.  He will never be looked upon in high esteem.  All of his hopes, dreams, and aspirations were destroyed by his calculated risk.  Unfortunately, the jury did not consider the calculated risk that was taken by George Zimmerman.  Had they factored in “a risk that you take carefully consider possible results” along with other compelling evidence, the word “pre-meditated” could not have been dismissed.

Mr. Trayvon Martin will never be forgotten.  His story will inspire people all over the world to be vigilant in the pursuit of justice.  His story has already galvanized Agents of Peace to fight for what is right.  His story will move politicians to enact and strengthen gun laws.  Mr. Trayvon Martin and his family will be our constant reminder of the Power of Love.   In the midst of their tragedy, they have asked us all to fight for justice by peaceful means. Mr. Trayvon Martin’s name will be attached to what is right, while Mr. Zimmerman’s name has been relegated to “shame”, “untouchable”, “pariah”, and “coward”.  The Victor on February 26, 2012, paid with his life, but he is victorious nonetheless.