Zimmerman case wasn’t about race

Published 8:04 am Monday, July 29, 2013

I take issue with the comments by major media and Editor Tim Engstrom in his column of July 16. Comments that justice was not served in the Trayvon Martian case are wrong. Everyone makes the assumption that George Zimmerman was the aggressor since he was watching Trayvon. What is lost in the rush to blame Mr. Zimmerman is that he was serving as a member of his neighborhood watch, formed because of an increasing number of home burglaries. Mr. Zimmerman was doing his job and properly called 911 when he noticed a person that looked out of place in the neighborhood. Mr. Zimmerman did not approach Trayvon but observed from a distance. On Mr. Zimmerman’s way back to his car Trayvon attacked, knocking Mr. Zimmerman to the ground and was in the process of beating him when Mr. Zimmerman managed to pull his gun, for which he had a permit, and shot Trayvon. This was a case of self defense. Race had nothing to do with it. How many of us would have reacted in the same manner?

Since when has it become a crime to keep an eye on the comings and goings in one’s neighborhood?

We owned a restaurant in the Skyline Mall for nearly 40 years. While not common knowledge, the mall merchants had an organized watch. When someone suspicious was observed, a call went out to all merchants. Someone would keep an eye on the subjects as they moved through the mall. No threats were made, but the subjects know they were being observed. It’s amazing how quickly these people left the mall.

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If shoplifting, acts of vandalism or hassled customers occurred, the police were called. At times suspects were followed to their cars and their license numbers recorded. Often shoplifters were confronted as they left the mall and occasionally chased down and held until the police arrived. At no time did we feel that we were out of line. We were protecting our merchandise and our customers’ safety. Race or social status were never an issue.

This was not a race crime as the media, members of the administration and black caucus are portraying. I feel sorry for Trayvon’s parents, but it was Trayvon’s mistake to turn on Mr. Zimmerman instead of going home. I also feel sorry for Mr. Zimmerman as a decision made in panic may have saved his life but also changed his life in ways he never could have imagined.

Are you aware that more than 90 percent of all black killings are black-on-black. That black men 15-40 make up about 3 percent of the population but commit 50 percent of all murders. The silence of the media and our Congress on this subject is appalling. While black leaders cry racism and call for protests when they should be working to resolve the issue of black-on-black violence.

Gun control is not the solution as the worst cities are those with the strictest gun laws. The solution is jobs.


Don Sorensen

Albert Lea