I fear I'm going to be the minority in this argument. I'll do my best to be as inoffensive and as hilarious as I possibly can be, without appearing to be too callous:
I am not ready to 100% call for Zimmerman's head or to make the battle cry that he was acting completely in self-defense. I do not have all the evidence, but I would like to think I have enough to make a reasonable assumption. Which is precisely what the rest of you have done, I imagine.
If I were a betting man, I would wager on Zimmerman being innocent. I would also wager on him not being a racist. I will try to clarify both of my claims as best as I can. I will start with the charge that Zimmerman is racist against blacks:
This started out when people "thought" he said a derogatory term with the 911 dispatcher. However, the hypothetical jury is out on that assumption. I do not believe he said anything of the sort. I do believe he was highly suspicious of the way that Trayvon was dressed and how he was acting (cutting through people's yards), which I cannot take offense to. If we rule out that Zimmerman did not use a racial slur, we only have the evidence that he is Hispanic and the boy is black -- which doesn't hold up much, unless your last name is Jackson or Sharpton.
About the hoodie -- if you look like a thief and are cutting across people's lawns at night, you should not be surprised when someone asks what you're doing. His skin color had nothing to do with it. His attire during the time of night and the circumstances is what brought this event to a head. I believe Dave Chappelle has a stand-up skit about assumptions with clothing.
Now, we can move on to why I would wager that Zimmerman is innocent, and why I don't believe "Stand Your Ground" applies in this situation. He was requested not to pursue Trayvon by a 911 dispatcher -- which is not a legal request. What happens next is fuzzy. However, what is almost a sure-fact is that at some point in time Trayvon managed to get on top of Zimmerman and began to rearrange his face. There were cries for help -- and the wounds inflicted on Zimmerman would likely back his story that he was calling for help. After that, there was a gunshot.
In most states, there is a duty to retreat if possible. However, Zimmerman had no route of escape. He was on his back and was being brutally assaulted by a "boy" who was 6'3". If I were a lawyer, I would argue that Trayvon used inappropriate force in continuing to attack Zimmerman after he was on the ground, even if Zimmerman had hypothetically struck first -- which there is no evidence found on Trayvon to back that claim. It was at this time I believe the weapon was discharged, killing Trayvon.
Should he have pursued Trayvon? No, that was stupid of him -- he should have allowed the police to handle it. Is that illegal? No. As a civilian, he does have reasonable justification to protect his neighbor's property/life if he thought Trayvon was committing some crime. Was he wrong in discharging his firearm? No. It was the middle of the night and he was being assaulted by a younger and fitter man than himself. Should he have been carrying a weapon as a Neighborhood Watchman? That is irrelevant -- he was a Florida CCDW permit holder. He had the legal right to do so, regardless of his volunteer position. Speaking in his defense, if I were put in the same responsibility, I would carry my own personal firearm just the same as Zimmerman did.
I could also be dead (not literally) wrong. Who knows? I am irked that our President does not have anything better to do than stick his nose in to local affairs, but that is another time and place. I do have to ask -- I wonder if the Justice Department will allocate just as many resources to arresting members of the New Black Panther Party that put a $10,000 bounty out for Zimmerman's head?