The case of Trayvon Martin 46 replies

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Commissar MercZ

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#1 6 years ago

This has been a charged case in the US, has invoked a lot of passion and protest over the circumstances of Martin's death and the police's initial decision to drop charges. The shooting death occurred on February 26th and the anger has grown since then.

Treyvon Martin, who was with his father visiting a house watching the NBA All Star game, went out to get a snack- an iced tea drink and some skittles. On his return, he was killed. According to Zimmerman's (the neighborhood watch) accounts, he shot at Martin because he felt 'threatened'. 911 calls reveal that Zimmerman reported that Martin 'looked suspicious' and that he was going to pursue him, which the 911 person told him not to do. Other 911 calls and witness accounts show that Zimmerman pursued Martin who he confronted, then after a scuffle, shot after he said Martin got him on the ground. The city for its part said it released Zimmerman because he acted in 'self-defense' and the evidence 'at the time' favored his explanation he acted out of self defense.

The transcript between him and 911 can be read here.

Criticism arose over the way the stand-your-ground law was invoked, as well as similar problems with prosecution around the country with people. Issues were brought up exactly what made Zimmerman think Martin was 'suspicious' in the first place- his clothes? Appearance? Race?

One 911 video released was from a homeowner near the site of the shooting. The confrontation between the two is heard (as well as what sounds like Martin's cries for help), and at about 0:40 or so the gunshot can be heard.

Since then, after protests such as this one and other criticisms,

Even the federal government has moved in to investigate the handling of the case to see if there was any faults with the case's investigation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/us/911-tapes-released-in-killing-of-florida-teenager.html?ref=lizettealvarez

911 Calls Add Detail to Debate Over Florida Killing By LIZETTE ALVAREZ

MIAMI — It was raining the night of Feb. 26 when George Zimmerman, a crime watch volunteer, set out to patrol his neighborhood in his sport utility vehicle, as was his habit. Several break-ins had been reported in the area in recent weeks, and Mr. Zimmerman was especially alert.

He spotted a young black teenager wearing a sweatshirt, with the hood draped over his head. Mr. Zimmerman, a 28-year-old Hispanic man, trailed him a bit. Then he called 911, the first of seven calls from Mr. Zimmerman and panicked neighbors that begin to flesh out the details in the death of Trayvon Martin, 17, whom Mr. Zimmerman shot. The police released the recordings to local reporters late Friday night after nearly three weeks of pressure from Trayvon’s parents and their supporters.

The 911 calls from a gated community in Sanford, north of Orlando, culminate with a faint voice in the distance crying and pleading for help. A gunshot is heard, and then silence. Mr. Zimmerman told the police that he had shot Trayvon in self-defense, after the two got into a fight and Mr. Zimmerman wound up on the ground. There have been no arrests in the case. The unarmed teenager, who carried Skittles and a can of iced tea, was walking to the home of his father’s girlfriend from a convenience store.

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good or on drugs or something,” Mr. Zimmerman told dispatch, in his initial call. “It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.” Mr. Zimmerman continued: “He’s here now just looking at all the houses. Now he’s just staring at me.” Then he added a second later: “He’s coming to check me out. He’s got something in his hands. I don’t know what his deal is. Can you get an officer over here?”

Then he got out of the car with his licensed 9-millimeter pistol, and a worried dispatcher asked: “Are you following him? O.K., you don’t need to do that.”

At that point, Trayvon ran, and Mr. Zimmerman continued to follow. The dispatcher told him to wait for the police. A suggestion was made that Mr. Zimmerman and the police should meet by a mailbox. But then Mr. Zimmerman changed his mind. “Actually, could you have him call me and I’ll tell him where I’m at.”

The next spate of calls came from anxious neighbors. A faint cry for help and terrified howls can be heard in the background. Neighbors said they had seen two men nearby in the dark. They reported hearing a gunshot.

“A guy yelled, ‘Help! Oh, my God,’ ” one man told the dispatcher. “There is two guys in the backyard with flashlights. There is a black guy down and it looks like he’s been shot and he’s dead.”

One caller said: “I think they’re yelling help, but I don’t know. Send someone quickly, please.”

It is not clear from the audio whether one or two shots was fired. And, with the voice muffled in the distance, it is difficult to know which of the two men is crying out for help.

The police told The Orlando Sentinel on Friday that they believed the voice crying for help was Mr. Zimmerman’s. They say that prosecutors have told them they do not have enough evidence to dispute Mr. Zimmerman’s claim that he acted in self-defense. Florida affords people who act in self-defense greater protection than most states, allowing them to take action if they have a reasonable fear that their lives are in peril. The case was turned over to the state attorney’s office last week.

“That is the circumstance we are dealing with: If we arrest, we open ourselves to a lawsuit,” Sgt. Dave Morgenstern, a spokesman with the Sanford Police Department, said. “I would have to say I don’t think we have conducted a racially biased investigation at all.”

Sergeant Morgenstern said that Mr. Zimmerman was in contact with the police and was cooperating with the investigation. In a letter to The Orlando Sentinel last week, Mr. Zimmerman’s father said that his son had black relatives and friends and was not the aggressor in the case.

Mr. Zimmerman, who is studying criminal justice, was arrested once in 2005 on charges of battery on a police officer and resisting arrest with violence. The charges were dropped.

Trayvon had no criminal record. He was suspended from his Miami high school for 10 days in February, which is the reason he was visiting his father. The family said the suspension was not for violent or criminal behavior but for a violation of school policy.

Representative Corrine Brown, a Florida Democrat, and Sanford’s mayor, Jeff Triplett, have joined the parents’ request for a Department of Justice investigation.

Trayvon’s parents say they have no doubt that it is their son’s voice pleading for his life in the background. They say they can imagine Trayvon reacting with fright or concern upon seeing a burly stranger trailing him in his car, then getting out to follow him.

“I listened to the tapes and it just broke my heart again to hear him screaming out for help and pleading for his life, and he was still murdered,” said Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother. “There is no question in my mind that is his voice.”

And a run down of the events. (bias warning, don't yell at me)

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/03/18/446768/what-everyone-should-know-about-about-trayvon-martin-1995-2012/?mobile=nc

Spoiler: Show

On February 26, 2012, a 17-year-old African-American named Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida. The shooter was George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old white man.* Zimmerman admits killing Martin, but claims he was acting in self-defense. Three weeks after Martin’s death, no arrests have been made and Zimmerman remains free. Here is what everyone should know about the case:[INDENT]1. Zimmerman called the police to report Martin’s “suspicious” behavior, which he described as “just walking around looking about.” Zimmerman was in his car when he saw Martin walking on the street. He called the police and said: “There’s a real suspicious guy. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about… These a**holes always get away” [Orlando Sentinel]

2. Zimmerman pursued Martin against the explicit instructions of the police dispatcher: Dispatcher: “Are you following him?” Zimmerman: “Yeah” Dispatcher: “OK, we don’t need you to do that.” [Orlando Sentinel]

3. Prior to the release of the 911 tapes, Zimmerman’s father released a statement claiming “[a]t no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin.” [Sun Sentinel]

4. Zimmerman was carrying a a 9 millimeter handgun. Martin was carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. [ABC News]

5. Martin weighed 140 pounds. Zimmerman weighs 250 pounds. [Orlando Sentinel; WDBO]

6. Martin’s English teacher described him as “as an A and B student who majored in cheerfulness.” [Orlando Sentinel]

7. Martin had no criminal record. [New York Times]

8. Zimmerman “was charged in July 2005 with resisting arrest with violence and battery on an officer. The charges appear to have been dropped.” [Huffington Post]

9. Zimmerman called the police 46 times since Jan. 1, 2011. [Miami Herald]

10. According to neighbors, Zimmerman was “fixated on crime and focused on young, black males.” [Miami Herald]

11. Zimmerman “had been the subject of complaints by neighbors in his gated community for aggressive tactics” [Huffington Post]

12. A police officer “corrected” a key witness. “The officer told the witness, a long-time teacher, it was Zimmerman who cried for help, said the witness. ABC News has spoken to the teacher and she confirmed that the officer corrected her when she said she heard the teenager shout for help.” [ABC News]

13. Three witnesses say they heard a boy cry for help before a shot was fired. “Three witnesses contacted by The Miami Herald say they saw or heard the moments before and after the Miami Gardens teenager’s killing. All three said they heard the last howl for help from a despondent boy.” [Miami Herald]

14. The officer in charge of the crime scene also received criticism in 2010 when he initially failed to arrest a lieutenant’s son who was videotaped attacking a homeless black man. [New York Times]

15. The police did not test Zimmerman for drugs or alcohol. A law enforcement expert told ABC that Zimmerman sounds intoxicated on the 911 tapes. Drug and alcohol testing is “standard procedure in most homicide investigations.” [ABC News]

16. In a cell phone call moments before his death, Martin told a teenage girl that he was “hounded by a strange man on a cellphone who ran after him, cornered him and confronted him.” “‘He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man,’ Martin’s friend said. ‘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.’ Eventually he would run, said the girl, thinking that he’d managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering Martin. ‘Trayvon said, ‘What, are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.’” [ABC News]

17. Police have Trayvon Martin’s cell phone but never contact his girlfriend.[Miami Herald]

18. Zimmerman told the police “he had stepped out of his truck to check the name of the street he was on when Trayvon attacked him from behind as he walked back to his truck.” “He said he feared for his life and fired the semiautomatic handgun he was licensed to carry because he feared for his life.” [Miami Herald]

19. The incident occurred in a tiny gated community Zimmerman patrolled regularly. [Miami Herald]

20. Zimmerman was not a member of a registered Neighborhood Watch group. Zimmerman also violated basic Neighborhood Watch guidelines by carrying a weapon. [ABC News]

21. The police reports were amended to bolster Zimmerman’s claim of self defense. “Initial police reports never mentioned that Zimmerman had a bloody nose or a wet shirt that showed evidence of a struggle.” [Miami Herald]

22. Police ignored witness whose account different from Zimmerman.“One of the witnesses who heard the crying said she called a detective repeatedly, but said he was not interested because her account differed from Zimmerman’s.” [Miami Herald]

23. Zimmerman still has a permit to carry a concealed weapon in the State of Florida. [ThinkProgress] [/INDENT]

Another run down here, and a profile of Mr. Zimmerman.




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#2 6 years ago

It'll be tough to get this guy due to Florida's broad-sweeping "stand your ground" self-defense legislation. Which basically allows anyone to use deadly force if they feel threatened. Most other states restrict the use of deadly force to one's own "castle" or "home".

Personally, I think they should arrest him. He followed the victim and unnecessarily provoked an altercation. Neighborhood watch my ass.... probably a wanna-be cop who was couldn't pass the psych reviews. There's no legitimate reason for citizens to be patrolling the streets with firearms, unregulated, instigating confrontations. Why the hell even have a police force if people can dispense their own justice? This guy is below rent-a-cop status, and somehow managed to walk away from a fatal shooting which he self-admittedly perpetrated, as clean as he went in.

Anyway you cut it, it's wrong.




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#3 6 years ago

Sedistix;5624604It'll be tough to get this guy due to Florida's broad-sweeping "stand your ground" self-defense legislation. Which basically allows anyone to use deadly force if they feel threatened. Most other states restrict the use of deadly force to one's own "castle" or "home".

Personally, I think they should arrest him. He followed the victim and unnecessarily provoked an altercation.

Just saying...

Neighborhood watch my ass.... probably a wanna-be cop who was couldn't pass the psych reviews. There's no legitimate reason for citizens to be patrolling the streets with firearms, unregulated, instigating confrontations...

Agreed. He was even on the phone and the 911 dispatcher told him that he didn't need to be following the kid around. Apparently, subtlety wasn't the way to go in this instance, because this moron didn't realize that there were people who were better able to evaluate a potential threat than he was.

"Potential threat" in this case being a black kid in a hoodie with Skittles and a soda can, talking on the phone.

As to that list: 4, 5, 6, and 23 seem irrelevant. 23 will become relevant when the guy's found guilty of murder, as the other points strongly suggest he will be.




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#4 6 years ago

This is a mess. It's obvious this guy was racial. He should be locked up. I don't know why the police didn't check his background at the time of this happening.

I also find it funny the other side is also racially involved. Why does Al Sharpton need to get involved.? Where is he when a white man gets shot?

Anyways it's sad Trayvon Martin lost his life at such a young age.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#5 6 years ago

The guy's a fucking murderer and if he doesn't get sent down for it no colored man in the State will be safe. There's no excuse for what he did, he stalked and shot someone who was out buying fucking candy.

I'm amazed no-one's killed him yet really. "Sure I felt he was a threat to me. After all he randomly shoots colored people."

Course it'd work differently if a darkie did it....




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#6 6 years ago

Nemmerle;5624748The guy's a fucking murderer and if he doesn't get sent down for it no colored man in the State will be safe. There's no excuse for what he did, he stalked and shot someone who was out buying fucking candy.

I'm amazed no-one's killed him yet really. "Sure I felt he was a threat to me. After all he randomly shoots colored people."

Course it'd work differently if a darkie did it....

Oddly enough, the shooter is Hispanic. As for him being a cop who couldn't pass psych evaluation, that's probably the case. He called 911 over 40 times a year to report things like spotting opened windows. Looking at what he called on, he just sounds crazy.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#7 6 years ago
* Zimmerman was described by the police as white. According to his family he is also Hispanic.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/us/911-tapes-released-in-killing-of-florida-teenager.html?_r=1&ref=lizettealvarez

He's a white dude, you look at him and he's white.




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#8 6 years ago

Nemmerle;5624799http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/us/911-tapes-released-in-killing-of-florida-teenager.html?_r=1&ref=lizettealvarez

He's a white dude, you look at him and he's white.

zimmerman-thumb-400xauto-32375.jpg

Looks at very very least multi-ethnic.

We're moving into a post race America, and our controversies are moving there with it.




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#9 6 years ago

Yeah. I think if the black kid had shot him, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

He's white, and this is how appearance based politics works: You favour the person closest to you. You get ten white guys and a black guy in the room, the black guy's going to be the one getting fucked because everyone else can agree he's the point of difference. Even if among the white guys there are other, less pronounced, ethnic tensions.




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#10 6 years ago

Nemmerle;5624805Yeah. I think if the black kid had shot him, we wouldn't have having this discussion.

He's white, and this is how appearance based politics works: You favour the person closest to you. You get ten white guys and a black guy in the room, the black guy's going to be the one getting fucked because everyone else can agree he's the point of difference. Even if among the white guys there are other, less pronounced, ethnic tensions.

But your case case for appearance based politics doesn't work here, because the man involved doesn't look white and, in fact, isn't.