- Posted March 26, 2012 by
Charlotte, North Carolina
WHY DID TRAYVON MARTIN RUN AWAY?
What caused Martin to run away from George Zimmerman and then physically engage with Zimmerman after being cornered?
Trayvon Martin had every right to be in the neighborhood. He was visiting his Father who is a resident of that gated community. But the fact is that while he belonged there he was still a guest. He wasn’t from Sanford. He was from Miami.
Trayvon Martin lived in Miami-Dade County and attended Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School. (The High School he attended is by race 41% Hispanic, 29% White non-Hispanic, 28% Black, and 0.1% Asian.) A simple search of the internet will reveal the Latin Syndicate’s largest and most violent gang is in Miami-Dade County where Trayvon lived. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2vRotzto3o) He must have known or heard about the Hispanic gangs operating in his area. The majority of students in his High School were Hispanic. Perhaps some belong to these gangs.
From the transcript of Zimmerman’s call to the police that night you can see Zimmerman got a very close look at Martin. Close enough to know that he had “button on his shirt” and that he was a teenager. Martin also got a very close look at Zimmerman. Zimmerman said: “He’s just staring at me” and “He’s checking me out.” As Zimmerman could see that Martin was Black, it is likely that Martin could see that Zimmerman was Hispanic.
Knowing this, we can imagine things through Trayvon Martin’s eyes as he looks back at the Hispanic man checking him out. While Zimmerman was describing Martin to the police, Trayvon would also have been assessing Zimmerman: Why is this Hispanic guy staring at me? How is he dressed? Does he have any visible tattoos? Is he a gang member? Am I on his “turf”?”
Did Trayvon Martin think Zimmerman was a Hispanic gang member?
According to the version of events police apparently gave to Martin's parents, after Zimmerman got out of his car, Martin approached him and asked "did he have a problem,"
"Zimmerman told him 'No,' and Trayvon supposedly said, 'Well now you do, homey,'" Trayvon's mother said, recounting what officers told her.
Fulton said police told her Zimmerman was reaching into his pocket for a cell phone when Martin punched him and a scuffle ensued. But, she said, she does not believe that account.
There needs to be some investigating done before we can understand why Trayvon Martin first ran in fear and then “Stood His Ground.” What was the neighborhood like where Tayvon Martin lived in Miami-Dade County? Was he threatened by Hispanic gangs? What was the racial climate of the High School Trayvon attended? Did some members of the High School’s Hispanic majority create tensions? Had Trayvon ever been threatened there? What was Zimmerman wearing? Did he fit the profile? Was he by chance wearing the same colors as one of the Miami-Dade gangs?
It would seem cruel to the victim to think that racial stereotyping could have influenced Trayvon’s actions that night, but if we are to ever fully understand this tragedy, this side must eventually be investigated, no matter how uncomfortable it may be