Sunday, September 20, 2020

Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman, Why We March In Sanford, FL.

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Sanford is a city of about 54,000 people with a significant black population of approximately 30% or 16,200 people. If one percent of the population of Sanford or 540 people showed up and protested in downtown Sanford, it would change the makeup of the thrust of local government in city hall. Even if one per cent of the black population showed up,,, change would happen. As it has been in the past, change is left to a small group of committed citizens, who find it necessary to protest for change.

For me, the Trayvon Martin shooting changed the way I saw our local government and local law enforcement. It was a watershed moment. It was after the shooting that I joined with others asking for the resignation or removal of our chief of police. Many whites see the protests to remove the chief of police as political, however that was never the case with me and other  blacks in the Sanford community. In discussing the issues of the shooting with other black men and women, young and old, it became clear it was not completely about race either.

When the issues of the shooting were discussed, it was usually started off with words like, “That could have been me” or “That could have been my son or daughter.” What they were saying is, they felt a little less safer, than they were prior to the Sunday night of February 26, when a child (who had recently turned 17), unarmed left his home to buy a bag of candy and a drink, and ended up shot to death by a neighborhood watch activist while trying to get back home. For these blacks, it was not so much a race issue although race was involved, or a political issue, although politics would come to be involved, but an issue of physical well being.

We, generally always knew there were people like George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, in our midst who profiled black young men without cause. Some even committed heinous acts against them. Many of us, however had become comfortable, and maybe overly so in expecting law enforcement to hold these kind of people accountable and arrest them when they commit acts against us. After all, through our governmental representatives, many of us promoted and had seen enacted hate crime laws nationally. This gave many of us a sense of security which proved to be false, as indicated by the passages of “stand your ground laws.”

When we saw law enforcement in the person of Chief Lee of the Sanford Police Department stand before the nation, and say not only would law enforcement not be charging George Zimmerman with a crime in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, but would set him free saying he had a right to kill this child, the ground beneath our feet shifted. We became outraged and afraid for our safety which we thought was comfortably established. The confidence in law enforcement to protect us from zealots like George Zimmerman completely dissolved in that news conference held by Chief Lee on that Monday afternoon. It was at that news conference, I could see outrage, fear and trepidation in the eyes of the black people present. They felt they were under attack and law enforcement having abandoned them now supported and protected the killer.

It was not for us at that time a question of race, but a question of how do we stop this from going any further. This is what caused the outburst of emotion and galvanized many blacks to action resulting in the huge protests and marches which followed across this nation and in Sanford. Many of us became afraid for our safety and the safety of our love ones, especially for our young black males. We came to find out we were behind the learning curb in the “stand your ground law,” and had to get up to speed politically to address that issue. Many of us also knew the issue of getting Zimmerman arrested had to take center stage.

The business however, of not allowing the Chief of the Sanford Police Department to return to his post is not completed. He has not been fired and is still on the payroll of the city. He has been “temporarily relieved” of his duty. It was this chief who investigated this shooting and advocated for George Zimmerman in that afternoon news conference. We now know based on the special prosecutor appointed by the Governor of the state of Florida that George Zimmerman should have been charged with a crime and not set free. The special prosecutor has charged him with 2nd degree murder.

Therefore we protest and will continue to protest until this chief is removed. However, we need every brother and sister, white or black to help us. Please contact James Davis @ 407- 245-7326 ( leave your name and number) and let him know if you will march( picket) with us and express your first amendment rights of freedom of speech and assembly in downtown Sanford, Florida every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

There is old saying:
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men(people) do nothing.” ( Edmund Burke)

Staff Writer; James Davis

More information about JD and his Deficit Neutral Stimulus Plan Can be founded at



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