A really quick recap: Martin was an unarmed 17-year-old black man shot and killed by Zimmerman, a Hispanic man who was driving through the neighbourhood with a loaded gun. The case has served as a lightning rod for debates about racism and injustice since before it went to trial.
The not-guilty verdict delivered by the jury on July 13 has intensified those discussions, with many people comparing the blatant injustice of the Trayvon trial to the 1991 police beating of Rodney King (I write “Trayvon trial” because it often seemed more about the young man’s character than any action taken by Zimmerman).
The jury’s decision to clear Zimmerman of all charges—including the lesser offence of manslaughter—set off demonstrations around the United States and other countries, but there were no riots or substantive violence of any kind.
Yet somehow there is footage of what’s described as Trayvon-related riots available for viewing on YouTube.
One example appears above.
Anybody who’s ever walked through downtown Vancouver will quickly recognize one of the city’s most iconic buildings on display for the video’s entire duration. There’s also a clearly audible mention of the intersection of Georgia and Seymour Streets, neither of which exist in Miami.
For anybody who still suspects this is all a liberal conspiracy I’m spewing in an effort to conceal the violent tendencies of scary black people, I’ll also mention that I was in Miami the night of July 13 at a conference attended by hundreds of journalists from around Florida and the continent. Nobody I spoke with over the course of the weekend heard one word about riots in Miami or anywhere.
The videos are likely being posted by racist individuals whose intentions are to incite hatred against people of colour.
“Americans are afraid there will be riots, like there were after the King verdict in 1992,” Kendzior wrote. “But we should not fear riots. We should fear a society that puts people on trial the day they are born. And after they die….Americans should not fear riots. They should fear apathy. They should fear acquiescence. They should not fear each other. But it is understandable, now, that they do.”