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In Trayvon Martin case, justice takes a hit

Carlton Fletcher

Carlton Fletcher

I know I don’t get out and about as much as I used to, but I feel that I somehow missed the boat back on Feb. 26 when I must have been one of only about 37 people in the whole country who weren’t in Sanford, Fla., witnessing the incident in which neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

From what I’ve read and heard, pretty much everyone saw the awful incident go down and is therefore qualified to expound on what would constitute justice in the case.

From media-whore preachers who don’t mind insinuating themselves into the middle of any controversy that will get them a little TV face time or their names on the front page of newspapers to hate-group instigators who will use any opportunity to stir up racial disharmony, the case has been an unyielding part of the national dialogue since the tragedy unfolded.

And afterward, the absolutely meaningless “Million Hoodie Marches,” the equally pointless bloviation by windbag conservative radio hacks and the shameful exploitation of another tragically killed black teenager — sadly, much of it by his family — has allowed any- and everyone an opportunity to give their take on the case.

It’s not enough that a young man needlessly lost his life and another man has been forever vilified for action he says was self-defense. This country hasn’t been able to pass up the golden opportunity to turn the incident into a racially-charged, confrontation-worthy cause.

I’ve read and listened with interest to the (mostly white) group that has felt compelled to come to Zimmerman’s defense by claiming, their righteous indignation aflame, that “blacks are calling Zimmerman white when he is in fact half-Hispanic, yet they would not be complaining at all if the shooter had actually been a black man.”

I guess none of this group took the time to look in the mirror and realize that if, indeed, the shooter had been a black man, they too would not have been so eager to jump on the Zimmerman self-defense bandwagon. It would simply have been another black-on-black shooting, not worthy of their concern.

Blacks, meanwhile, have tried to turn this unfortunate young man into some kind of martyr, proclaiming him an innocent in this case, no matter what the evidence might say.

None seems overly concerned that a boy on the threshold of manhood had his life — and all the hopes and promises it might have held — taken from him because a self-proclaimed protector of the realm had a deadly weapon and went looking for an opportunity to use it, an opportunity that never should have happened.

Of course, Zimmerman’s defense is a reactionary Florida law that all but gives him the right to do what he did, if indeed the events of that Feb. 26 night prove to have unfolded as he claims they did. Unfortunately, even with all the “witnesses” who have surfaced in the aftermath of the shooting, we may never know what really happened.

Perhaps the scariest element of this sad American tale is the initial inactivity of Sanford police and then the about-face charge, almost two months after the fact, of second-degree murder that led to Zimmerman’s arrest on Wednesday. Because of the timing, and what appears to be a thinly disguised attempt to calm a growing anger that spread from the Sunshine State and has been simmering in all parts of the country, Americans are left to wonder if justice is actually being served or if, in fact, Zimmerman is being served up to calm that anger.

Again, we may never know the truth of the tragic Trayvon Martin case. But one truth is an absolute: The shaky concept of justice in America has taken another hit.

Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@albanyherald.com.

Comments

Margie 2 years ago

I agree, the actual truth will never be told. Only God, Trayvon and Zimmerman know the truth, but of course Trayvon is dead. His voice is silent. So, we will speak for him on this earth. Who will pursue every effort to at least get a thorough investigation of the case at best to determine, what really happen But, the story is only left for Zimmerman to tell, whether the truth or a lie. As for justice, we talk about it all the time. We talk about the judicial system and how we as citiizens need to let the process work. Does it really work? Is is really fair? A juror of our peers determines our fate, often is not based on the instruction given by the judge, but my personal preference, bias, hate, race, social-economic levels, the whole bucket. But, depending on the level of your cup, and your life experiences it would be extremely difficult for one to understand anything that has happen at this point with regards to the demonstrations and verbal outcries. Even if Zimmerman's account of the incident is as he said, the Sanford Police at least could have done a better job in their investigation. If one investigator has doubt about the case, that iin itself should have been enough to at least do a complete investigation or let the family and public know that the investigation is continuing and assistance froom the state has been requested. But, to do no more than arrest Zimmerman, and release him in just a few hours, was a slap in the face to Trayvon's family and the balck community. He was dead, and the man that killed him said it was self defense, and there is a law that protect his claim. I don't believe that just claim would have set well with any of us that are on the outside looking in and responsing to what we see and hear on the media. It is my prayer that God's intervention will bring about the truth, period,

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agirl_25 2 years ago

Wow Carlton, you sound a bit fed up with the whole mess, nice to have you come over to the dark side...welcome. Media-whore preachers huh? I like that. Now who could that be? I think Trayvon's mother's scheme to make some money off her trademark idea fell kind of flat because her million hoodie march hoodies are on Amazon for $30.00 each (all 1-million of them according to the ad) and it looks like they may have to cut prices soon. We have Gone Too Soon tee shirts for $9.99, sizes adult large thru small, No Justice No Peace hoodies for $15.95 in varying sizes and kindle editions of various books for prices ranging from $2.00 to $3.00. Also, there is now a Probable Cause Affidavit filed in the case. Now it is going to get tricky. Remember we are dealing with a very complicated factor...probable cause is something that is quite hard for a jury to understand and remember this is Florida, need I remind you? You can read the affidavit online. Google it.


Probable cause is defined as facts or evidence supporting a reasonable belief that a crime has been or is going to be committed. Police officers must establish probable cause in order to lawfully make an arrest, obtain a warrant for an arrest or search and seize someone's property. A prosecutor must convince a grand jury that there is probable cause to bring a case to trial. According to the U.S. Court of Appeals, the test for establishing probable cause is showing that "facts and circumstances within the officer's knowledge are sufficient to warrant a prudent person to believe that a suspect has committed or is about to commit a crime." Examine each key phrase in the test to determine exactly what elements are needed to establish probable cause.

I know it sounds simple....but just wait.

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Justice4Moma 2 years ago

The truth of it all will come from the Justice System.But we all know that the System can work sometimes,yet we have corruption in our court System.Judges,that play fav's.with other Judges,or lawyers,any member of the good ole boy system. When you go in front of a Judge it is your right to expect Justice.Yet so many times the Judges,and others decide what there version of the law is. Have you ever went to court and have a Judge tell you that he has had enough of your rambling?Or that you are wrong even tho you have police reports? We have Judges right hear that will not hear a case,not becuase they are kin to the person,but because they work with a person.that is not a valid cause.You are not a Judge because you have friends in office,you are as a Judge to be able to put all your so called friends aside,and work for Justice.If not you are a corrupt Judge.As far as the arrest of Zimmerman,well only time will tell.But he should not be found guilty because of the panthers,or so called preachers,or even Travons Family.It should be becuase everything has been looked into,and he is guily with no hesatation,because of the LAW.Not because we have people out for blood of innocent people.

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waltspecht 2 years ago

When you hire a Lawyer, don't hire the one that knows the LAW, hire one that knows the JUDGE. Old joke that holds a lot of truth. As long as Justice is served in this case, then Justice didn't take a hit. The key still may be in a suprise wittness. Or in the Girl Friends statement that said Trevon was going to go confront the man. We will see what comes up in court. Incidentally where are they going to find an inpartial, uninfluenced group of Peers? Let alone a Judge that will rule fairly when riots are threatened? Incidently, you would be suprised at who carries a firearm. If they were all looking for trouble it could be real dangerous out there. Making a statement that the man was carrying a firearm, looking for trouble is about like mind reading, isn't it Carlton? Or are you just displaying a prejudice of yours?

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dmyers80 2 years ago

The stand your groung was meant for people to defend themselves against someone that was a threat to you or your property... Not to bail out an agressor who loses a fight.... That being said, you dont follow people who you deem to be a threat to you... I think that Zimmerman saw a young black kid walking his neighborhood and his red flags went up... He should not have followed or chased him, and the fact that he said to the 911 operator that " these a--holes get away with it" says he has some kind of prejudice.Especially since there was no crime or attempted crime commited in the neighborhood when he was following Trevon.

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tywebb 2 years ago

you, dmyers80, are exactly the person this article was written about. stop trying to read minds and quit stating your opinion as fact!

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dgc8506 2 years ago

tywebb, did u know the person who actually signed the Stand Your Ground Law into legislature has been quoted saying that zimmerman cannot use this law as his defense because he was clearly the aggressor who provoked the entire situation...I bet u didnt because u rely on people like mr carlton to synthesize opinions for u..do your research..

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tywebb 2 years ago

dgc, do you think that maybe the person who signed the SYG law doesn't know all of the facts either? In fact, NOBODY knows, for sure, what exactly happened after it was suggested GZ not follow trayvon and when trayvon got shot. WHAT IF....GZ followed for a little while in his car, got out and followed on foot, LOST trayvon, went back to his car and got jumped? would you still call him the aggressor? WHAT IF.....GZ followed, caught up with trayvon, asked him some questions, was satisfied with the answers, headed back to his car, and then got jumped? WHAT IF......GZ followed and caught trayvon, got physical with him, was getting his butt kicked, then shot? These are all scenarios that could've happened. the point is NOBODY knows! People can't come on here and say what someone was thinking. OR come on here and present their OPINION as FACT! well, i guess they can, but it doesn't matter.

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Somebody 2 years ago

BTW it'sTrayvon, not Trevon.

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Cartman 2 years ago

Carlton. Although a bit over-done, the article was a nice attempt to paint yourself as fair-minded, by critisizing anyone else who harbors an opinion.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

Glad there's somebody around here who has all the answers. You remind me of my Dad, Carlton............not always right but never in doubt!

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dgc8506 2 years ago

This article is horrible. The epitome of hypocrisy. Im still trying to understand how this article was even published. "blacks,meanwhile, have turned tried to turn this unfortunate young man...martyr". So, u are not familiar with the fact the american justice system has been historically unfair to blacks. U are not aware of the fact that blacks do more time for the same crime than whites counterparts. Let me ask u something carlton, if this was a white kid who had been shot by a black man are you saying that whites wouldnt cry out for the killer to be arrested? Correct, they would not have to because the black man would have already been arrested, tried and killed already (by a jury of 5 whites and one token black,btw). I was really hoping to read an impartial article about this case but it seems another white man has taken zimmermans side, yet he wants to scold blacks for taking a stand. I mean you might as well show your true colors like other white americans who feel that zimmerman was within his rights to kill that poor child for the simple fact that he was black. "The shaky concept of justice in America has taken another hit" (rolling on the floor laughing) please explain to me how the justice system has taken a hit...if anything this case is making whites uncomfortable because they cant hide behind their racism doesnt exist anymore crap and their corrupt and warped sense of justice is being exposed yet again. I was not there but the facts doesnt require me to be. Mr zimmerman incriminated himself when he called the police and was specifically told not to follow mr trayvon. Mr zimmerman initiated the confrontation. Mr zimmerman was carrying a loaded weapon. Mr zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed young black man. Mr zimmerman was not fighting for his life then but he is now. As it turns out, mr trayvon was the only person fighting for his life and unfortunately he lost(he never really had a chance really) The white man justice system may not convict mr zimmerman but i know a man that will. Rest In Peace Trayvon and my prayers are with your family. I hope they continue to fight for justice for u and for the rest of us young black men.

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agirl_25 2 years ago

Zimmerman: Dead Man Walking....To Be Killed By The Fourth Estate

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watchman 2 years ago

If G Zimmerman is to be killed, he did it to himself. How many times have I said, "people should mind there own business." only in certain circumstances should people not mind there own business, such as helping law officials apprehend suspects of a crime.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

dgc8505........another dope who didn't see anything but somehow knows everything. The root of the problem here is people like you.

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VSU 2 years ago

Amen Sister, some people think they have all the answers and haven't even heard all the questions yet.

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tywebb 2 years ago

wah wah wah The prosecutor is waiting for your eyewitness testimony. You, along with dmyers80, are exactly the people carlton wrote this article about! Those who like to state opinions as fact.

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gotanyfacts 2 years ago

dgc, Picking up on the snarl in your post, it seems you feel Carlton stepped on your toe! Yes, he should have said "Some blacks..." though I don't think it would have mattered to you. You go on to prove his point however, making statements regarding the incident that you can not possibly know to be true. You also make statements that show a bias that indicates that you may not be able to look at the situation outside of the black-white issue. It is true that the American justice system has historically been unfair to blacks. That can not play a part in deciding this case. There is no justice in condemning Zimmerman because of what went on in the past. You appear to claim that the unfairness continues. In fact, you seem convinced of it and no evidence to the contrary will change that. Injustices do still occur, and always will, due to the frailties of humanity. With clear eyes, I believe would see a much fairer system than the one you describe. But based on ... "they would not have to because the black man would have already been arrested, tried and killed already (by a jury of 5 whites and one token black,btw).", I don't expect your vision to improve. As you admitted, you were not there, but you can tell us exactly what happened. I think too many do not know the difference between justice and revenge.

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Hawk59 2 years ago

Gotanyfacts...Clearly we all have different opinions on the issue but a couple of things must be said. Have you ever heard of Rosewood Fla. It was a prospering little town until a white lady claimed to have been raped and beaten by a black man. But instead, was her white lover that she was cheating with on her husband. That town was destroyed and most of the men there where killed and beaten or both. Do you remember the incident in Boston years ago when a white man claimed that he and his wife were attacked by a black man, resulting in the shooing death of his wife. He was shot also, but survived. Well turns out that he killed his wife and shot himself in the shoulder to cover it up. Meanwhile, the police in Boston were rounding up any black man they could find to calm an impatient, angry white community. I'm using these incidents to show that sometimes blacks have been blamed for crimes that they did not even commit, so dgc was probably correct when commenting that a black person would have already been arrested much quicker than Zimmerman. History proves that to be a fact...

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gotanyfacts 2 years ago

Hawk... Exactly what did you disagree with? Rosewood occurred in the early 1920's. I suspect there are more recent examples you could give. But, can you point out any white led race riots in the last thirty years? In the early 1990's, during the L.A. riots, Reginald Denny was attacked and nearly killed just because he was white! As for the Boston incident (how many years ago?), I can counter with Al Sharpton and Tawana Brawley. Sometimes whites and Hispanics, and Asians, and Eskimos... have been blamed for crimes they did not commit. I will grant that blacks have been the target of false accusations to a greater degree. However, assuming that every action which is not favorable to a black victim or defendant is the result of discrimination creates its own injustice. Is there a reason you chose to leave out "...tried and killed already (by a jury of 5 whites and one token black,btw" from dgc's quote. I would not have dismissed the possibility that an arrest may have occurred sooner, but the rest of the quote was ludicrous. That is the part that indicates dgc's inability to evaluate this situation with an open mind. Your last comment I have to question. How can something that did not happen be proven as fact?

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dgc8506 2 years ago

ok clearly u didnt read my post in its entirety because in one the last sentences i stated... The white man justice system may not convict mr zimmerman but i know a man that will(GOD). This shows that i know the difference between revenge and justice.Can u see that or u need me to dreak it down a little more.

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gotanyfacts 2 years ago

dgc8506... Actually, your statement proves the point. Saying that God will "convict" Zimmerman, even if the justice system fails to, indicates that you expect punishment rather that a fair assessment of fact which leads to a fair judgment. God will judge, not necessarily convict. So, I guess you need to break it down a little more. I promise to read it in its entirety, as I did your original post. ;)

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dgc8506 2 years ago

gotanyfacts...Justice is for Man; Revenge or Vengeance is for GOD. Therefore, no matter what the courts decide, GOD will have the last word and he will deal with zimmerman.

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gotanyfacts 2 years ago

Yes, God will have have the last word. His judgment will be made on what was in Zimmerman's heart and mind, which He knows, not on what you, or anyone else, assume was in Zimmerman's heart and mind. But the question remains, What is the difference between revenge and justice?

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dgc8506 2 years ago

First and foremost, i have the right to have and to voice my opinion on this site just like all of u and i wud hope that u can respect that. Second of all, none of us witnessed this unfortunate event and yet again none of u can deny the facts that i have stated previously. Furthermore, i have done my research and im ready to back up everything i say about this case and any other case i choose to speak on unlike some of u. and finally , please dont forget that the two mean involved in this event are really the only true witnessed and one of them is dead so everything we hear is coming from mr zimmerman and clearly he is not gonna say that he intentionally killed an unarmed teenager because he is a racist prejudice bastard. sister_ruby, i read a lot of ur posts on this website and they all reflect ur bias and in most cases lack of awareness and same for vsu. either way im glad u guys enjoyed my opinion and i hope u learned something.

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gotanyfacts 2 years ago

"...clearly he is not gonna say that he intentionally killed an unarmed teenager because he is a racist prejudice bastard." Do you think he should? If so, why?

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Justice4Moma 2 years ago

There is one thing that everyone is looking over.The LAW in Fla.I did not make that law,and probley done of you did.But is is the Law.It came from the Justice system.We white people did not make it.And for some to say stuff like that is plain stupid.Yes there are race problems.But you thing all this crap is going to help that? No.The Law as bad as it is,is the law.If you really want to change things,march to change the law.Make our officals work for there money.We cant change that Trevon got killed,but just maybe you can stop it from happening again.Or are you just worried about this ONE Child,because you are a race basher.Alot of people could care less about Travon,or Zimmerman,this is just there chance to get noticed.And to me,that is wrong.It is sad to me that so many are making money off of this.Why not give the money you make to fight race problems? Is it because of you yourself being raceist?This all needs a good long look.Some people are using this as to what happened years ago.Wrong.It is about Travon.And i know most will not like it,but it is also about Zimmerman."What if" (this is just a question),what if a tape were to come up showing that Travon did attack Zimmerman?And that is just a question,so dont go getting your panties in a wad.

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gotanyfacts 2 years ago

Maybe I'm tired. Maybe it’s just my age. But I came away from this article a little confused as to Carlton's point. Maybe he was trying to swat too many flies, as there are an abundance of flies to swat in this rancid affair. Carlton's initial target seems to be those who "know” so much without knowing the facts. It is human nature to form opinions on limited information, filling in the gaps with perceptions tainted with biases related to whatever groups we feel a part of. It is all to easy for an opinion to be treated as fact as we argue our point; making it difficult to rationally debate with someone else who is using a different opinion as "fact". Carlton interjects his opinion that Zimmerman was a ..."self-proclaimed protector of the realm had a deadly weapon and went looking for an opportunity to use it..." as though it is fact. Something Carlton is in no position to know. Another deserving group of flies that needed swatting are the Jacksons and Sharptons, who know how to make a pretty penny out of an ugly situation. The fly that Carlton has ignored is the "news" media. At no point did it seem that the media's prime objective was to accurately and completely present facts. Was it through incompetence, or deliberate manipulation that the initial portrayals of Martin and Zimmerman were so far off the mark? If deliberate (could they be that inept and keep their jobs?), who benefits from the resulting brouhaha?

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

gotanyfacts.......you nailed it perfectly. What was the man trying to say except that HE's the only one who's got the proper perspective here?

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dmyers80 2 years ago

Well tywebb... How is it explained he followed him and confronted him... There had been no reports of crimes or criminal activity in the neighborhood that night. So how was he suspicious?? Oh thats right those a--holes always get away!! I dont pretent to have all the facts...but to pretend that there is nothing wrong with the justice system and everything that has happened in this case has been fair is just crazy or being blind to the FACTS! I dont know it all but I do know that the 911 operater told him 3 times not to follow him... And since no criminal actions had taken place why would you ignore the police operator??? I guess so the "a--hole" wouldnt get away.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

Did you forget the significant number of robberies and break-ins in that neighborhood statistics in the past few months? Yeah........I thought so.

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USTPC 2 years ago

Hasn't it been reported that Trayvon circled back around and confronted Zimmerman and then attacked him? If it turns out to be a fact that Zimmerman did stop Trayvon but then walked away from him and Trayvon then circled back around, confronted Zimmerman and then attacked him - does that not constitute self-defense?

Why did the media, Sharpton, Jackson, and the family issue pictures of Trayvon when he was 12-13 rather than his current age of 17? I can only think of one reason to show a photo of when Trayvon was 12-13 rather than his true age of 17 and that was to specifically stir up anger and racial tension.

The Black Panthers organization put a bounty on Zimmerman's head - dead or alive. Why are we not hearing any outrage or anger over that? Why has no one from the Black Panther organization been charged?

If you (and by you I mean any poster on this article or any other article related to this incident) had the "intent" to kill someone would you call 911 first to make sure the police were enroute prior to killing that person? I can guarantee you that if I intended to kill someone I would not call 911 first. But hey, maybe that is just me

In my opinion I think Zimmerman should have followed the 911 operators advice to wait for the police. He made a mistake not following that advice and just observing Trayvon from a distance until the police arrived. But, if he did confront Trayvon and then walked away and Trayvon did in fact circle around and attack Zimmerman then how can you argue that it does not then become self defense? I am also of the opinion that Zimmerman did not go out that night with the intent to kill someone. You do not call 911 for police assistance when you have the intention of killing someone. Manslaughter or self defense but not 2nd degree murder. That is my opinion and thoughts and that is all it is. If additional facts come out in the case that would justify a change in my opinion I reserve the right to do that.

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agirl_25 2 years ago

Very well stated. A very enjoyable read.

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Outtahere 2 years ago

I wanted to read everyone's comments but they were all too long-winded.

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peopleofamerica 1 year, 12 months ago

I took some of the comments you made offensive. Not all blacks look at the situation as a opportunity to start marches. The real truth is a young man's life was taken for no reason. No matter what color he may have been this young man lost his life. Justice is for all. But in these times in certain places hatred still lives. Albany, Ga is a place where hatred still lives.So when you look at Sanford ,Fla . They compare some of the actions there to here.I believe that this mainly started because of the police department.Their lack of actions started this all. Albany has had some.They are just swept under the rug.I don't care where you are justice is for all.

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