The only thing that could be worse than a presumably innocent 17-year-old boy being shot dead is the aftermath where police, gun enthusiasts, conservatives and racists attempt to smear the youth's reputation. The wholesale character assassination taking place is despicable but not unexpected. It's the typical "she was asking for it with that short skirt" defense. When all else fails, blame the victim.
I don't care if Trayvon Martin had a police record or not. Or if he was suspended from school or not. Or whether he smoked weed or not. Or that he was out at 10pm or 3am. He could've just held up a liquor store for all I care. And I don't care whether he threw the first punch at Zimmerman or not. In fact, Trayvon could've been the worst scum of the Earth (which he clearly wasn't) and none of that...let me repeat none of that...justifies Zimmerman stalking, confronting and killing Trayvon. We live in a society governed by the rule of law, not by vigilantes who play judge, jury and executioner.
On neighborhood-watch patrol, it could be argued that Zimmerman did his job by calling 911. It should've ended there. He was told to stop following the kid. He didn't. He then elected to put himself, and Trayvon, in harm's way. Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law should not protect him. To the contrary, it protects people like Trayvon. It is Trayvon, unarmed, who apparently needed to 'stand his ground' after being menaced by an older man with a 9mm semi-automatic weapon strapped to his waist. Even if that meant throwing the first punch. It was his right to use deadly force after believing that Zimmerman was out to kill him.
Trayvon Martin has already been attacked. This shameful character assassination taking place right now needs to stop.
Follow Andy Ostroy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AndyOstroy