The media have already decided George Zimmerman is guilty and should be charged and arrested for shooting Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old African-American teen, inside a gated community in Sanford, Fla. on Feb 26, 2012. Martin was unarmed and simply walking from a convenience store to the home of his father's fiancée.
Be that as it may, the criminal justice system works more on facts than emotions or assumptions. The fact is that police have not yet arrested or charged him for the shooting. If it had been an open and shut case, Zimmerman would at least have been charged, if not arrested. As it is, Zimmerman claims self defense and is currently in hiding.
His story is that he was on a personal errand when he noticed Martin walking. Zimmerman is the captain of a neighborhood, so he took an active interest in the alleged "suspicious behavior" and called it in to the Sanford Police Dept. Zimmerman was advised not to get out of his vehicle or follow the person.
What happened next is a matter of dispute, and clarity on what happened between this call and the shooting will ultimately decide whether George Zimmerman will be charged or not. At present, a special prosecutor, Angela Corey, has been appointed to look into the matter.
Zimmerman's attorneys are basing his defense on Florida's "Stand your Ground" law. The law gives people the right to use force in self defense without having to retreat, assuming the threat is credible and danger imminent. Zimmerman says he was forced to shoot Martin because he was being attacked by Martin, who allegedly broke Zimmerman's nose and slammed his head into the ground.
Given the high profile for the case, Zimmerman's lawyers will probably have to do a bit more than simply put all their eggs into "Stand your Ground." They may have to work hard to disprove the racial profiling aspect, and explain why and how the two ended up brawling when Zimmerman was explicitly ordered not to follow Martin.