George Zimmerman

user: Fibonacci Blue / Flickr

A much debated issue surrounding the George Zimmerman case was Florida's "stand your ground" law, which grants immunity to an individual who uses deadly force as a mode of self-protection.

States that adopt "stand your ground" laws generally indicate a person has no duty to retreat if they feel unlawfully threatened by another individual, regardless of where the person is.

If you use deadly force against someone when you feel unlawfully threatened by them, you are protected under these state laws. 

According to a think tank called the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit group promoting government transparency, what Michigan's "stand your ground" law says is almost identical to Florida's law. 

Eighteen years ago, I was teaching a large “survey of the media” class at Wayne State University when word came that there was a verdict in the O.J. Simpson case. I put television on.

This was a Wayne State University class with almost equal numbers of black and white students. When it was announced that OJ had been acquitted of the murders of his wife and her friend, the reaction seemed almost Pavlovian.

The white students were openly disgusted. The black ones, pleased. Times have changed. Today, we have a black President. 

But my guess is that if I had been teaching a similar class when the Trayvon Martin verdict was announced, I would have seen something like a mirror image. Certainly the African-Americans would have been outraged; though I am not sure the white students would have been all that pleased with George Zimmerman’s acquittal.

Lucy Perkins

"How many people believe today that there shouldn't be another Trayvon Martin?" Ron Scott asked a crowd through a megaphone.

This was the opening question to a rally on the corner of W. Adams and Woodward Ave. in Eastern Detroit Sunday evening to honor Trayvon Martin. Martin was an unarmed black teenager who was shot last year by George Zimmerman, a Hispanic neighborhood watch  volunteer. Zimmerman was found not guilty on Saturday of a second degree murder charge in the case. A jury determined Zimmerman shot Martin in self defense.  

The rally was organized primarily by the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, but had support from many other organizations, including the Detroit branch of the NAACP and the Green Party. 

On the base of a statue, several people spoke to about 100 people, including Ron Scott of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality.