Nearly two months ago on February 26th of the year 2012, tragedy struck Sanford, Florida, a community north of Orlando. In what has become a media firestorm for investigators, prosecutors, and former Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, 17 year old Florida high school student Trayvon Martin was shot and killed. While exact details remain unknown to those not present at the alleged incident, we already know that Mr. Martin was fatally shot by self appointed neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, and that Trayvon was not carrying any weapons but is known to have had in his possession a bottle of tea and skittles. No word on any new high school drug fads involving those particular items.
While there are no substantial new developments regarding the legal proceedings that may or may not come to pass, that does not mean there is no news to be had. The story gained widespread attention when celebrities such as Spike Lee and Justin Bieber tweeted about it, proving that Americans will always care about what celebrities care about. LeBron James also famously tweeted a picture of himself wearing a hoodie with a caption that read 'I Am Trayvon Martin'. The Miami Heat as a whole followed suit.
Once the public eye had turned towards Sanford, there was little doubt that Geraldo Rivera would eventually chime in. His claim that the attire of Mr. Martin on that fateful February evening played some role in his ultimate demise was met with a just and violent backlash, but one can rarely undo the lasting damage of anything Geraldo says.
Which is how it came to be that Seminole County, whose jurisdiction Sanford falls under, is considering legislation that would outlaw the wearing of “hoodies, cloaks, any article of clothing possessing an excessively lengthy collar, fedoras, wide-brimmed cowboy hats, as well as bandanas, masks, balaclavas, and any other garment which can be used to conceal the face and/or head.”
There is widespread support for the legislation, especially in the conservative community, but it is not unanimous. One Sanford resident, Troy Milkspoon, said of the bill, “We live in Florida. What would you wanna wear a hoodie for, anyhow?”
In the interest of fairness, the Leaky Wiki spoke to noted litigator and Civil Rights activist Timothy Erbaine. “This is a classic case of blaming the victim. While we may never know exactly what happened that night, there are certain facts which simply should not be ignored. A kid, a high school kid, was shot and killed. What provocations might have taken place on either side, he was unarmed. Unless you think he figured out how to weaponize skittles. Now to ban clothing? Its just running in entirely the wrong direction.”
The long-windedness of Mr. Erbaine aside, this journalist attempted to contact several city and county officials for comment on their proposed legislation. As of press time no one had agreed to go on the record, but one representative was willing to speak candidly as long as his identity was not revealed.
“It certainly isn't a perfect solution.” Our insider suggested. “Still, its something. We had to take some kind of action. The whole country just up and refused to mind their business. Glass houses, I say. Anyway, [Police Chief Bill] Lee's boys botched the investigation so bad even if we arrested Zimmerman we'd never get it to stick, so we did this. Hopefully it'll get them off our back. I heard Rivera has already gone on air in support of the bill, too.”
It remains to be seen whether the bill will pass, or what public response to it will be. It is also not known whether existing garments would be grandfathered in should the bill pass, or if some kind of compensation will be given to those who have recently bought items to go on the banned list.
We also spoke with a fellow member of the neighborhood watch, a friend of George Zimmerman's. While he did ask to remain anonymous, he posed us a difficult question.
“With everybody walking around in hoodies and such in solidarity with Trayvon, how are we supposed to know who's black?”
When not investigating for The Leaky Wiki, Aries writes at alteredthought.tumblr.com