Note: I wrote this post based on what was publicly known on March 12th, two weeks after the murder. Other posts I wrote about it are linked below.
Trayvon Martin (1995-2012) was a 17-year-old black boy killed two weeks ago on February 26th 2012 by a 28-year-old white man, George Zimmerman, captain of the neighbourhood watch. Zimmerman had a gun, a car and instructions from police not to follow Martin. Martin had Skittles, an iced tea and a 140 pounds (63kg) body weight. Zimmerman claims self-defence. The police saw no reason to doubt that and let him walk free.
The police are still looking into the matter and for that reason have not yet made public the emergency telephone call that Zimmerman made just minutes before the shooting. They say it backs up Zimmerman’s claim of self-defence.
Martin was up from Miami visiting his father in Sanford, Florida, a suburb of Orlando. He was watching the NBA All-Star game on television and went out to buy an iced tea and get his brother some candy. He never made it back. Ten minutes later he was dead, just 70 feet (20m) from his father’s house
When Zimmerman saw Martin he called police to report a “suspicious person in the area”. The police told him not follow him, that they would be there soon. Despite that Zimmerman continued to follow Martin in his car – because “they always get away”.
When Martin noticed Zimmerman following him in his car, he said, “What’s your problem?” Zimmerman got out of his car. They fought. It appears that Martin hit him in the nose – his nose was bleeding, there was grass on his back and the back of his head was bleeding.
Zimmerman: “I was yelling for someone to help me but no one would help me.”
Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest. When police arrived Martin was dead, face down in the grass.
Zimmerman had a permit to carry the 9mm handgun that he killed Martin with. Neighbourhood watches are supposed to report anything strange to the police, not take the law into their own hands and gun down people.
The police arrested Zimmerman. He confessed to the killing but said it was self-defence. The police let him go. They said they respected Zimmerman’s background, that he had studied criminal justice for four years and was squeaky clean.
Even before the shooting several neighbours had complained of aggressive tactics by Zimmerman.
The police say they do not yet have enough evidence to arrest Zimmerman, that the family is jumping to conclusions, that the police are making a fair investigation regardless of colour.
The family’s lawyer said, “I don’t think they have any intention on arresting this white man for killing this black boy,” that race is the “the 600lb elephant in the room”. He wants to hear the emergency call Zimmerman made.
Zimmerman’s telephone has been disconnected. It is unknown where he is.
Martin once pulled his father out of a burning kitchen. He wanted to be a pilot or an aviation mechanic. Now he is dead.
- Sign the Color of Change petition to prosecute Trayvon Martin’s killer
- racial profiling
- Of Trayvon:
- George Zimmerman
- Mocking arguments
- Also unarmed: