Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, that much is certain. It is a tragedy for the Martin family.
It’s not worth opining on the facts, as so many are doing, because we don’t have enough facts, much less all the facts.
Was Zimmerman, who is Hispanic (or some say “half-Hispanic” or a “white Hispanic”), actually motivated by racial animus? Is there anything in his past to suggest that he singled out blacks for different treatment either in his private life or his life as a self-appointed Neighborhood Watch captain? Of the reported dozens of call he made in the past to 911, are there any clues to racial motivation? I’d like to know these things before reaching a judgment as to whether there is a racial component to this case.
What was the geography? Is there evidence Zimmerman continued to chase Martin after the 911 operator said it was not needed? Was the shooting in a place where Zimmerman may have run into Martin while Zimmerman was heading towards a place he could be seen by police, or was the location indicative of Zimmerman still chasing Martin?
What happened between the last phone call between Zimmerman and 911, and the shooting? If Zimmerman takes the stand, we will only have one version, because the only other witness is dead. But there is an audio recording which can be analyzed of someone yelling for help; there is physical evidence as to the condition of Zimmerman and Martin which may show, circumstantially, who was the aggressor at the point the two entered into physical contact.
The trajectory of the bullet may tell us the position of Zimmerman when the fatal shot was fired, and other forensics may give an indication of the distance between the two at the time.
I don’t know if police took photographs, but presumably they did. What do the photographs show as to the scene?
There may be witnesses we don’t yet know about, who heard things or saw things which in isolation may seem insignificant but may be pieces of a puzzle.
Let’s allow the facts to come in before we opine on the legal significance of the facts. Did Zimmerman hunt Martin down, or did the two come into unexpected contact with deadly results? It could be important.
Given the high political profile the case already has taken, we owe it to the victim and the accused for there to be a professional investigation free from politics.