Lewis Diuguid

Zimmerman trial being watched closely by authorities

The trial of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin goes to a head Thursday with the closing arguments in the second-degree murder case. Jury deliberations will start afterward.

Testimony has involved the 911 tape of Zimmerman with a dispatcher who told him not to go after 17-year-old Martin. Another witness testified at the trial that she was talking with Martin at the time Zimmerman confronted him because he thought Martin was suspicious.

The case has grabbed national attention because of Florida’s “stand your ground” law, enabling people to use lethal force if they fear that they are in danger from another person.

Like the O.J. Simpson case of the 1990s, the trial has made headlines because Zimmerman is white and Latino, and Martin was black. Initially Zimmerman, 29, was not charged.

That changed after nationwide protests over the Feb. 26, 2012, slaying. Authorities are right to be concerned about people’s reaction over the outcome of the trial, which started in late June.

Justice in this case will be viewed differently, depending on the race of the public.