This week in Florida something that had festered for three weeks erupted, first locally, then across the state, and ultimately nationwide.
On a rainy night in February a young man was visiting his father and his father’s fiance’ in a gated community near Sanford. Apparently during halftime of a basketball game he went to a local convenience store and bought candy and iced tea. On the way back to his father’s house he was confronted by a man, tried to leave, was engaged in a physical struggle with that man, and was shot and killed.
Trayvon Martin was seventeen, a young black man walking on the street in a gated community.
George Zimmerman is a twenty eight year old man with an extensive history of calling 911 and reporting “suspicious black males” in his neighborhood. He has repeatedly been called the “captain of a neighborhood watch.” There is a great deal of different reporting on the matter with some saying he is not even a member of a watch and others reporting that he is, indeed a leader of his neighborhood watch. On this night he seemed to be, in old fashioned parlance …
He prowled the streets of his neighborhood, armed. Neighborhood watch members do NOT carry weapons.
He called police emergency to report a suspicious person walking in his neighborhood.
That was Trayvon, walking to his father’s house from the store with his candy and iced tea, bareheaded, in the rain.
Zimmerman considered that he was on drugs, or “looking about,” and followed Trayvon, who was on the phone to a 16 year old girl described as his girlfriend. He told her he was being followed by a man in a vehicle.
She told him to run.
From many places there have been reports that the police instructed Zimmerman not to follow the subject. Here’s what’s on the tape: The police dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was following the man and when Zimmerman said he was, the dispatcher said, “Okay, we don’t need you to do that.”
Zimmerman acknowledged that … and followed Trayvon.
…who pulled up his hoodie and started walking away … faster. He’s still on the phone and the girl can hear what’s happening.
Zimmerman claims he stepped out of his vehicle to read what street he was on, and Trayvon attacked him from behind.
Do YOU need to step out of your vehicle in YOUR neighborhood to see what street you’re on?
Trayvon’s girlfriend heard someone ask him, “What are you doing around here?” and Trayvon asks, “Why are you following me?”
Does that sound like an ambush attack from behind?
At that point the young lady reports that she hears what sounds like someone pushing Trayvon and she loses contact with him.
Within moments 911 calls begin to light up the board and people begin to report someone scuffling and cries for help. In some of the audio you can hear the voice. I have listened to it several times. It sounds like a young man in a panic.
Zimmerman claims it was him calling for help after being ambushed from behind by Trayvon.
In the middle of one of the calls there is an audible gunshot … and the cries for help stop.
By the time police arrive, Trayvon is dead.
The police, with an unidentified dead child and a man with gun, interview Zimmerman and when he claims to have fired in self-defense and they release him … with the gun.
… and despite the fact that they have Trayvon’s cell phone, he is tagged “John Doe” and is held in the morgue for three days.
Right now, this very minute, George Zimmerman is free among the citizens of this society, with a loaded gun.