Almost two months after the shooting of Trayvon Martin, Stony Brook students gathered to inform their peers and express their opinions.
A Stony Brook club, Free the Children, held a panel on Monday, April 16, to discuss the details related to Martin’s shooting, the trial and the entire ordeal as portrayed by the media. The discussion panel was one of several being hosted at Stony Brook as a medium for students to vent their frustrations and voice their opinions on the controversy that has stunned the nation.
The panel was made up of the club’s executive board and some members, who instead of picking a side weighed in with factors that contributed to the public’s formation of an opinion on the case. They scrutinized the media, and it’s handling of the case.
“The whole entire media sensation happened a month after this occurred,” said Patrick Lim, head of public relations for Free the Children.
They also discussed the media’s use of old pictures of Martin, not ones that accurately portrayed how he looked the day he was shot.
The panel also observed that the media has been clearly pro-Martin. “The media always pick a side. Trayvon is a victim, which I totally agree with,” said club secretary Shawn Chacko.
Every student there was clearly angry at George Zimmerman, the man who shot Martin.
“He claims he’s the neighborhood watchman, but he’s not,” said Chacko, as the rest of the panel agreed.
“It’s worse when people in power do it and don’t suffer any repercussions because they’re in power,” added Lim.
The police’s handling of the case also prompted a dialogue. It was agreed on by the entire board that the police could have handled the entire situation more effectively.
“Police have done all things wrong that they possibly could have done,” said Chacko.
Free the Children was discussing the shooting of Trayvon Martin because that the club aims to prevent similar cases from occurring, according to Chacko.
“The purpose of our club is to shine a light on the injustices happening around the world [so] this kind of thing can be avoided,” said Chacko.
Lim recalled a tweet from a Will Smith parody account: “We live in America where a girl that threw flour on Kim Kardashian was arrested on site but the man who killed Trayvon Martin is still free.” If students are upset about how the aftermath of the murder plays out, at least students on campus have somewhere to talk about it.