Crossroads residents agree with charging Zimmerman in death of Trayvon Martin
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Crossroads residents contacted Wednesday agree George Zimmerman should be charged in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.
"Zimmerman should have been arrested and charged from the beginning because of the circumstances surrounding the case. He followed this young man until he gunned him down," said college student Michelle April Robinson, 26. "There is no reason in my opinion that this case should have ever even been considered self-defense."
The case has sparked protests and debates about race and the laws of self-defense throughout the country, including in the Crossroads.
"I feel very strongly he should have been charged," said Matthew Gaskin, president of Victoria's African American Chamber of Commerce. "He took the laws into his own hands. The kid was not armed."
Many followers of the case agreed that race played a big part in both Zimmerman's motivation for shooting and how officials handled the investigation.
"Race came in with Zimmerman racially profiling Trayvon. He judged a book by its cover," said 33-year-old Victoria resident Winter Bates. "It would have been totally different if he were a white child."
Gaskin said, "If it had been the other way around, the kid would have been arrested on the spot."
Robinson disagrees with Fox News show host Geraldo Rivera's claims, which he later retracted, that Martin's hoodie was to blame for his death.
"Trayvon was stereotyped because he was black and because he was wearing a hoodie," said Robinson. "I think it would have been handled differently if the authorities would have been of the same race as Trayvon."
Port Lavaca homemaker Lacy Nichols said she has little confidence in Florida law enforcement's handling of the case.
"I truly believe that young boy was murdered. Zimmerman didn't have evidence proving that Trayvon attacked him. It's still upsetting to me about little Caylee (Anthony) that a lot of us folks are sure her mother killed her," said Nichols, a 30-year-old married mother of four. "The Florida law system is jacked up."
Crossroads residents continue to hold out hope that justice will prevail in the end.
"God is in control of everything. Even though it took this long, it was in God's hands," said Bates, a care provider. "Everybody just needs to sit back and let justice be served. There doesn't need to be anymore further riots or shootings."
D'Andrala "DeDe" Alexander, president of the University of Houston-Victoria's Black Student Union, expressed similar sentiments.
"I just want to see justice carried out, whatever that may be," said Alexander. "I hear she's a tough prosecutor. I'm confident she'll carry out charges as she sees fit."