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Trayvon Martin: Is his slaying about skin color?

March 24, 2012 |  8:48 am

Trayvon Martin rally

The shooting death of Trayvon Martin has generated a national debate, and rallies are planned this weekend in Los Angeles.

Talk back LASanford, Fla., resident George Zimmerman, 28, has claimed he shot Trayvon, 17, in self-defense after calling police to say he was following a person in his gated community who he believed was acting suspicious. Supporters of Trayvon's family have said the high school student was merely walking to a relative's home and that nothing about him could reasonably have been considered suspicious or threatening.

Times Metro columnist Sandy Banks discusses the case in her Saturday column, writing:

But this is not just about the color of skin, but the color of authority.

It's about a neighborhood bully allowed to carry a gun, encouraged by a reckless law to wield it and absolved by local police, who had barely begun to investigate before declaring the killer "squeaky clean."

Does race play into it? Certainly. I have no doubt Trayvon would be behind bars if he'd been the shooter in that scenario.

But what is moving America now owes its resonance to a bag of Skittles, a can of iced tea and a hoodie pulled low against the cold.

Read Sandy's full column here. How do you feel? Share your comments below.

Photo: A woman takes part in the rally in Leimert Park over the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times