Opinion: Columnists

A tale of two Trayvons

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Gregory Kane,Columnists,FBI,Analysis,Freedom of Assembly,Trayvon Martin

This is a tale of two Trayvons.

One is Trayvon Martin. If you haven't heard of him, then you must have spent the past year and a half with your head under a rock.

On Feb. 26, 2012, Martin was walking to the home of his father's girlfriend in a Sanford, Fla., gated community.

A man named George Zimmerman spotted him and, despite the fact that Martin had committed absolutely no crime, called the cops to report the 17-year-old as a suspicious character.

At some point, there was a physical confrontation, one Zimmerman claims left him getting pummeled on the ground, with Martin on top of him. Zimmerman, armed with a handgun, fatally shot Martin through the heart.

Zimmerman claimed self-defense under Florida's "stand your ground" law. Saturday night, a six-woman jury deciding his fate acquitted Zimmerman of all charges.

The case divided Americans along racial and ideological lines. It seems some conservatives couldn't wait to get in the line supporting Zimmerman.

I was not one of them. There were several things that disturbed me about the Zimmerman-Martin case from the start, not the least of which was this:

Zimmerman called police about, and then followed and stalked, a 17-year-old teen that had committed no crime. I have this thing about people engaged in constitutionally protected activity being left alone to mind their own business.

And Martin's going to a 7-Eleven store, buying some Skittles and an Arizona iced tea and then walking to the place where he was staying all fall under the category of constitutionally protected activity.

That's why I've called New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg the nation's chief "enemy of liberty." Bloomberg sanctioned a practice of the New York Police Department in which cops spied on Muslim groups far outside of New York City.

Those groups were also engaged in constitutionally protected activity.

So this is one conservative that didn't hop on the George Zimmerman bandwagon. Had Zimmerman just minded his own business the night of Feb. 26 and let Martin mind his, the youth would be alive today.

The Trayvon I wouldn't have minded being shot dead in the streets - by either Zimmerman or anyone else - is Trayvon Ramos.

Unlike Martin, Ramos did commit a crime. And it was a pretty heinous one. Six years ago, Zachary Sowers was on his way to his Baltimore home when Ramos decided he would beat and rob Sowers.

Ramos attacked Sowers. At one point, Ramos repeatedly stomped Sowers in the head. After the beating, Ramos and some accomplices robbed Sowers.

The attack left Sowers in a vegetative state. He eventually had to be taken off life support.

Ramos ended up getting 40 years for this felony murder. He was 16 when he attacked Sowers, and could be paroled when he's 36.

One other thing: Sowers was white. Ramos and all his accomplices are black. No hate crime charges were filed against any of them.

If you were wondering why you've heard - repeatedly, incessantly - about Trayvon Martin for the past year and nothing about Trayvon Ramos, you now have some inkling.

White murder victims whose killers are black don't really appeal much to the liberal news media. But a black murder victim whose killer is not black will bring out the Al Sharptons and the Jesse Jacksons.

The Trayvon Martin case did precisely that. There have been rallies calling for "Justice for Trayvon" and "Million Hoodie Marches" across the land.

In 2007, we heard none of those voices calling for the full weight of the law to come crashing down on the head of Trayvon Ramos, who's as deserving of life in prison as anyone I can think of.

It's too bad an armed George Zimmerman didn't run into Trayvon Ramos back in 2007.

GREGORY KANE, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.

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