How Trayvon Martin case would play out in VA

Trayvon Martin
Trayvon Martin

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The outrage over the shooting death of a Florida teen continues to grow.

Thousands took part in a March and rally in New York City, calling for the arrest of suspect George Zimmerman.

He claims he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin out of self-defense. Martin's parents attended tonight's rally and told the crowed they won't stop until they get justice.

NBC12 legal analyst, Steve Benjamin, says the self defense excuse in Florida wouldn't fly here in Virginia.

"No, this would never happen this way in Virginia, anytime an unarmed person is shot and killed there's an immediate investigation and usually an arrest," Benjamin said.

In Virginia you have to prove you did everything you could before using deadly force. But in Florida: "Even if you're at fault in Florida in bringing about the problem, Florida says you have the right to stand your ground and use even deadly force. That's wrong," said Benjamin.

In this case, it's the shooter's word against a dead man's and now after the public outrage, the U.S. Justice Department is involved.

"I'm not all surprised by the national outrage we have seen because it resonates with so many people, it resonates with young people who know they are targeted and suspected of being up to no good every time they go out in public especially young males," said Benjamin.

Martin was a 17-year-old black teen. His shooter is a light skinned Hispanic neighborhood watch leader.

Groups like the NAACP say there was racial profiling involved. And even though the laws are different in Virginia, Richmonders say racial profiling happens everywhere.

"You definitely get the looks you get the extra stares the extra glances," said J.P.

"Racial profiling happens it's sad but true part of the community," added VCU student, David Richardson.

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