This Is All Kinds Of Wrong of the Day: The family of a slain black teen is demanding to know why the white neighborhood watch captain who shot him is not behind bars.
On February 26th, 28-year-old George Zimmerman, a Seminole State College student, shot and killed 17-year-old high school junior Trayvon Martin in the Orlando, Florida suburb of Sanford.
Martin, an African-American whose father and stepmother live in the predominantly white gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, was walking home from a convenience store after purchasing a bag of Skittles, when he was confronted by Zimmerman.
The official police report says Zimmerman had earlier called to police to alert them of a “suspicious person in the area” and was told not to pursue. He complained that “They always get away,” before continuing his pursuit.
According to Zimmerman’s report, Martin, upon realizing that he was being followed, asked the self-appointed neighborhood watch captain what his problem was. At some point a scuffle ensued, and Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest with his 9mm handgun. He later told police he was acting in self-defense.
“He had a gun, and Trayvon had Skittles,” said Benjamin Crump, attorney for Martin’s family. “[The police] say they are still investigating. I’m not sure what there is to investigate.”
Martin’s family attempted to put pressure on investigators yesterday by gathering outside the Sandford Police Department to rally for Zimmerman’s arrest, but police officials refused to address the protesters.
Martin’s family filed a public records lawsuit to obtain a tape of the 911 call Zimmerman made prior to the shooting to ensure that all the facts are out in the open.
Last week, Sanford PD Chief Bill Lee said he didn’t think Zimmerman intended to shoot Martin, but said they would “present all the information” to the Seminole County State Attorney’s Office and let them decide if Zimmerman was defending himself.
WFTV has since uncovered Zimmerman’s criminal record, which includes a 2005 arrest for resisting arrest and battery on a law enforcement officer. The case was ultimately dismissed.
This is just so wrong on so many levels.