Signal Boost: Trayvon Martin

This petition can’t wait for LOGI: http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-17-year-old-trayvon-martin

The story: http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/17/opinion/martin-sanford-killing/index.html?hpt=hp_t3 and http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/17/justice/florida-teen-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_t3.

Summary: a teenage boy is walking into the gated community where his father lives, carrying a beverage and a bag of Skittles. A security guard calls the police to report a “suspicious” individual. The cops advise him not to get out of his truck or approach the individual in any way, and they’ll be there soon. He gets out, allegedly has a confrontation with the boy, and shoots him to death. Then he claims self-defense, and the cops say that because they can’t prove it wasn’t self-defense, they won’t charge him.

Perhaps it’s relevant to mention that the boy was black, and this was in Florida. The boy, Trayvon Martin, was also unarmed and a really good kid – no record, good in school, the whole nine yards.

Multiple neighbors called 911 to report someone screaming “Help me!” followed by gunshots. That may be the only redeeming part of this story – that the neighbors did the right thing, and in so doing, created evidence.

“This is amazing,” family attorney Natalie Jackson told the media after hearing the tapes on Friday. “The police have been covering up from the start. The most alarming thing was hearing a 17-year-old pleading for his life and someone still pulling the trigger.”

Point of law: I thought it was up to the cops to proffer charges and present evidence to the D.A. If the D.A. had declined to prosecute, that would be bad enough, because there’s no question this man shot this boy. It should go to trial, and let his defense attorney argue self-defense. The reason the police give why they won’t charge him? Because they have to swear out a warrant saying they don’t believe it was self-defense, and they do.

If you can shoot people in in FL and avoid charges by merely claiming self-defense, then let’s all immediately start luring our enemies to FL where we can deal with them properly.

Or is that only if they are young black kids?

Unlike Martin, Zimmerman, the shooter, has a record which seems relevant here:

Zimmerman had been arrested in 2005 in Orange County on charges of resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer.

Also, Zimmerman was not tested for intoxication, as is supposedly standard procedure.

The night of Feb. 26, Zimmerman made a non-emergency call to police before fatally shooting Martin, in which he told a dispatcher, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, on drugs or something.”

But law enforcement expert Rod Wheeler who listened to the tapes tells ABC News that Zimmerman, not Martin, sounded intoxicated in the police recordings of the 911 calls.

“When I listened to the 911 tape the first thing that came to my mind is this guy sounds intoxicated. Notice how he’s slurring his words. We as trained law enforcement officers, we know how to listen for that right away and I think that’s going to be an important element of this entire investigation,” Wheeler said.

The police also claim the voice calling for help in the 911 recordings was Zimmerman, not Martin, as Martin threatened his life so effectively with that bag of Skittles that Zimmerman was left with no choice but to shoot him.

Comments

  1. Fairfield says

    Florida, where justice goes to die. A beautiful kid, full of promise, cut down, and for what? Nothing. Heads need to roll over this. Now. Not 15-30 years down the road as is so typical with stuff like this, NOW.

  2. Casey says

    I heard that the witnesses reported they heard Trayvon call for help/get fucking murdered in cold blood and the police CORRECTED THEM.

    JUST
    WHAT
    @______@

  3. says

    Fairfield: Florida, where justice goes to die.

    That’s the quote of the day. Very, very true. I’m reminded of another black boy, 12 year old Lionel Tate: “Thus Lionel was sentenced to life in prison without anyone having to prove that he intended to kill or injure, or realized that his acts are likely to kill or injure, or even that a typical child of his age would or should realize this.”

    Casey,

    I know, it’s just blood-boiling. :(

    Red,

    *nods* It’s great to see this getting so much support.

  4. says

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/20/justice/florida-teen-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

    Update: Martin’s girlfriend was on the phone with him moments before the shooting, when he told her someone was following him. She’s apparently given some sort of recording to the family’s lawyer, which they’re turning over to authorities, and it’s expected to clarify some of the events. The FBI is still waiting and watching, but the Justice Department finally did an about face and announced they’re investigating.

    This needs to be treated as a hate crime. I struggle to interpret Zimmerman’s actions as anything but seeing a black boy, wanting to shoot a black boy, and setting up a situation where he felt self-defense might sound plausible. The cops letting him do this just sets us back a bunch of years. So in addition to Zimmerman getting the death penalty FL’s so proud of for this hate crime, some cops need to lose their jobs without retaining pensions. Really, they should be prosecuted for something like aiding and abetting after the fact, but I’d settle for them never working as cops again.

  5. says

    I am extremely glad to see the grand jury is investigating this, and I find it a travesty of the legal system that it wasn’t done immediately.

    As a proponent of self-defense and concealed carry, I am also outraged at this guy for claiming self-defense for shooting an unarmed black kid. This guy’s own statements completely discredit any claim of self-defense. Besides ignoring police warnings not to get out and confront Martin, according to that second article, Zimmerman himself reported that the teen had “started to run”. You are not allowed to chase down running people and shoot them and call it “self-defense”…that is premeditated murder.

    Shooting this kid is a horrible thing…trying to claim self-defense is an outrageous display of victim blaming.

  6. The Other Anne says

    I feel like I’ve been following this story obsessively since a week ago and I can’t fathom why Zimmerman was not at least arrested until some form of “self defense” was established except for racist cops who think a large, old non-black man gets to defend himself but a young, comparatively smaller black boy cannot. For all the people saying Zimmerman acted in self defense, I wonder where the cognitive dissonance lets them think that a 17yo boy doesn’t get to defend HIMSELF from a strange man following him home, chasing after him, and before all that watching him from a car. I’d have been terrified if I were Trayvon. I’d have (I think) tried to fight for my life. How is chasing after a kid ever self defense? I don’t even….I can’t…I don’t know. Even without the racial part of this it’s completely ridiculous, and considering the fact of Trayvon Martin’s race it’s quite OBVIOUSLY racially motivated and with racial biases of the officers involved. I don’t really see a gray area in it, because I doubt Zimmerman would have thought a white 17yo to be an inherently suspicious person.

    I am so sad for Trayvon and his family and friends. This shit needs to stop and be stopped.

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