JAY-Z Hopes Viewers Analyze Florida's "Stand Your Ground" Law After Trayvon Martin Doc
On Monday evening (July 30), viewers get to learn the intimate and chilling details of Trayvon Martin's life and death in Paramount Network and Shawn "JAY-Z" Carter's new six-part series, Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story. To prepare future onlookers for Carter's latest foray into social justice programming, the Roc Nation leader spoke with The New York Times on his hopes for the program's impact and why Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law is evidently faulty.
"This law, we have to get people to understand what it says," he said. "Of course, he will not be found guilty. It's very difficult to be found guilty with this law as it stands today." Behind the Stand Your Ground law, which gives a person who feels they are under duress to use their firearm to potentially kill another civilian, George Zimmerman fatally shot Martin, who was 17 at the time, in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman claimed Martin looked suspicious in the Twin Lakes neighborhood and pursued him despite the police's plea to not follow the teenager. Once Zimmerman confronted Martin, a scuffle ensued and Zimmerman shot Martin in his chest.
At an earlier point in the conversation, Carter also said the docu-series should not only change the minds of those who say Martin "had a hoodie on," but also those who "hide behind the idea of, 'No way that happened. Something had to be going on.'"
Additionally, Carter said he doesn't subscribe to the idea that celebrities, specifically black celebrities, are obligated to be vocal on social issues. "I think the way that people view celebrity is unfair," Carter explained. "Everyone should be filling in and doing their part because it isn't about money. It's not."
Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story airs on Monday night (July 30) at 10 p.m. on BET and Paramount Network.