On February 26, Trayvon was watching the NBA All-Star game at his father’s house in a white-dominated community of Sanford, FL when he was sent to the store to pick up some Ice Tea for himself and skittles for his brother. While walking back, he was spotted by George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch leader, who was sitting in his car. Zimmerman called the police and reported a ‘suspicious’ person and was told by the dispatcher to stay in his car while police were on their way. Zimmerman instead began to follow Trayvon and later got out of the car and chased him, eventually shooting him and claiming self-defense. Weeks later, George Zimmerman has not been arrested and remains a free man because the police have sided with his story even after neighbors have stepped up and said that they heard Trayvon screaming for help before he was shot to death. To back up the neighbors claims, 911 calls from the incident that night have been released and Trayvon can be heard wailing for ‘help’ in the background as a woman calls in to report an incident in her backyard. A single gun shot can be heard before the cries for help stopped.
Before the recordings were released, the police ‘corrected’ the witness and said that it was Zimmerman that was crying for help. Furthermore, the police have not charged Zimmerman because of the ‘Justifiable Use of Force’ law in Florida. According to sections 776.012 -776.013 of the law:
A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force.
A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force,…
According to legal analysts, Zimmerman was told by 911 to not confront Trayvon, however he did anyway so the ‘justifiable fource’ statue should not have been on his side. An arrest should have been made, however, police are saying that there was no probable cause for an arrest.
In the 911 recording of Zimmerman’s call, he stated:
“Hey, we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy at Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. He’s just staring, looking at all the houses. Now he’s coming toward me. He’s got his hand in his waistband. Something’s wrong with him. He’s coming to check me out. He’s got something in his hands. I don’t know what his deal is. Can we get an officer over here?[…]These assholes always get away. S–t, he’s running,”
When the dispatcher asked if he was following the guy, Zimmerman responded, ‘Yes’ and the dispatcher responded, ‘We don’t need you to do that’.
The entire situation has sparked public outrage across the nation with a petition on Change.org that has over 366,000 signatures demanding justice in the case. Neighbors of Zimmerman have also stepped up and said that there is no reason why he shouldn’t have been arrested. In the video below, a woman describes what she saw that night and claims she repeatedly called police after the incident and told them that she knew that it wasn’t ‘self-defense’ but they repeatedly blew her off.
Meanwhile, Zimmerman and his family have moved out of the neighborhood (at least temporarily) after receiving death threats. His father wrote an open letter to the Orlando Sentinel saying that he is disappointed that the media is painting his son as a racist and that he was raised in a multi-cultural family [Read Contents Of The Letter Here], but the question still remains: if George was black and Trayvon was white, would the outcome be the same? Many believe that if the racial roles were reversed, he would have been arrested on the spot.
To help bring Justice in the killing of Trayvon Martin, sign the petition at Change.Org