Indeed. Those missing elements are significant. And to be clear, in neither case is the shooter's behavior excusable in my view. Nonetheless, the question of what is newsworthy runs deep. Is there an epidemic of white people shooting young black men? Or are those crimes that receive media attention. Or is it something else that gets attention?
There were 499 homicides in 2012 in Chicago alone, and many of the victims were young black males. Would anybody seriously speculate that in most cases the shooters were white males? Probably not. What really does deserve scrutiny is the justice gap between black and white in the U.S. That I'm afraid is very, very real and it doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves. I think that was the element in the Martin/Zimmerman case that may not be present here. And it's finally getting more notice.
For me, it's recently been about two things:
1) Why are White perpetrators viewed and handled differently than the Black perpetrators, before, during, and after these cases.
2) Why the value placed on human life (on an ethnic level), is strikingly obvious; yet lawmakers refuse to address this glaring dispersant.
Though it's true that the two cases were handled differently, in terms of police response, the basis or catalyst for these differences are rarely address and / or corrected.
Often, if not always, these glaring discrepancies are allowed to persist.
I fear that the likely cause may be equally economic
as well as race
Moreover, lawmakers may believe that changing the process in one instance or case might give rise to acknowledging that a more universal problem exists within a much broader sense. And correction on this level may require an ideological or philosophical approach, if not one of process and procedures as well.
And lawmakers aren't looking to spend more time and money just for the sake of equality.