Tuesday, March 20, 2012
In Spite of Damning Evidence, Killer is still free
If you pursued an unarmed teenager, attacked him, wrestled him to the ground, and then shot him dead, would you be arrested for it? Apparently not in Sanford, Florida. This question has been on the minds of the entire nation since the self-appointed neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman (28) shot and killed unarmed Trayvon Martin (17) on February 26 of this year.
George Zimmerman wanted to be a police officer. Appointing himself as a community neighborhood watchman, having nothing to do with the real neighborhood watch, Zimmerman constantly made reports to the police. According to the Sanford police department, while most calls were frivolous, some were legitimate. While most papers are reporting that Zimmerman is white, he is actually mixed, Hispanic and white, having grown up in a Hispanic family, this according to his father.
Trayvon Martin was walking home with a brown paper bag. Martin was black and he walked in front of Zimmerman's mother's house.
* * *
Dispatcher: Sanford Police Department. …
Zimmerman: Hey, we've had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there's a real suspicious guy, uh, [near] Retreat View Circle, um, the best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about.
Dispatcher: Okay, and this guy; is he white, black, or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.
Dispatcher: Did you see what he was wearing?
Zimmerman: Yeah. A dark hoodie, like a gray hoodie, and either jeans or sweatpants and white tennis shoes. He's [unintelligible], he was just staring...
Dispatcher: Okay, he's just walking around the area...
Zimmerman: ...looking at all the houses.
* * *
This is the beginning of the 9-1-1 call that led to the shooting. Police trained in observation have stated that, if anything, Zimmerman is the one who sounds intoxicated, but it gets more interesting.
* * *
Zimmerman: Okay. These assholes, they always get away. When you come to the clubhouse you come straight in and make a left. Actually you would go past the clubhouse.
Dispatcher: So it's on the lefthand sidefrom the clubhouse?
Zimmerman: No, you go in straight through the entrance and then you make a left...uh you go straight in, don't turn, and make a left. Shit, he's running.
Dispatcher: He's running? Which way is he running?
Zimmerman: Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.
Dispatcher: Which entrance is that that he's heading towards?
Zimmerman: The back entrance...fucking [unintelligible]
Dispatcher: Are you following him?
Dispatcher: Okay, we don't need you to do that.
* * *
But we know that Zimmerman did continue to pursue Martin and just 70 feet from Martin's house, Zimmerman confronted him. There was a conflict, and Martin was shot. Police arrived just 60 seconds after the shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Zimmerman claimed self-defense and was not charged.
A witness inside a house heard the scuffle, and said that Zimmerman was calling for help. He then heard the gunshot. Another witness was telling police on the scene that she saw the conflict and heard Martin call for help. Police were quick to correct and tell her that she heard Zimmerman, and not Martin.
Trayvon Martin's bag contained a bottle of tea and a packet of Skittles. Since the incident, outrage has been growing across the nation that Zimmerman wasn't taken into custody. He still has not been charged with a crime. Just feet away from Trayvon's house, and he was listed as a John Doe. His father filed a missing persons report. It was after this that he learned his son's fate and told Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother.
Fulton has called for the FBI to take over this investigation from the police. For three weeks, nobody knew the circumstances from the time Zimmerman hung up until the moment Martin was shot, but the transcripts and his testimony should have been sufficient to warrant his arrest. Zimmerman was a self-appointed neighborhood watchman. He was not a police officer. He was armed. Martin was not. He was significantly larger than Martin. He pursued Martin. Still, police took his statement of self-defense at face value, in spite of witness testimony that suggested otherwise, witness testimony that the police corrected.
As it happens, there was one other witness to the incident: Trayvon's girlfriend, who was on the phone with him at the time of the attack.
“He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man...I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run.
“Trayvon said, 'What are you following me for,' and the man said, 'What are you doing here?' The next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell. I called him again and he didn't answer the phone.”
According to the Martins' lawyer, phone logs show that Trayvon had been on the phone with his girlfriend while he was buying candy at the store right up until the time he was attacked, definitively disproving Zimmerman's claim that Martin was acting suspiciously and her testimony would suggest that Zimmerman attacked Martin, pushing so that his head set falls to the ground.
This evidence surfaced after the national outcry sparked by the killing compelled the Department of Justice and the FBI to open their own investigation into the matter. Also, they should investigate the police involved in the matter. The police didn't arrest Zimmerman because they claimed there was no witness who could counter his claim of self-defense, and yet this doesn't dismiss the clear acts of vigilante-ism that lead to the death, including ignoring the warnings of police not to follow Martin.
There is a petition for the arrest of George Zimmerman here: http://www.signon.org/sign/justice-for-trayvon-martin?source=mo&id=37516-22136062-4DZPROx
Listen to the 911 call. Bogus Barrister agrees that this murder was racially motivated. You can hear Zimmerman say "fucking coons." and "these assholes always get away."