[Editor's Note (updated March 20): Trayvon Martin, a black 17-year old boy, was shot and killed on February 26 on his way back from buying candy and ice tea at a Florida convenience store. A white neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, claims he shot the boy out of self-defense. 911 tapes released on March 19 may indicate otherwise, and the Associated Press reports today that the Justice Department and a Florida grand jury are both launching investigations into Martin's death. --Grace]
Tapes of 911 calls made by neighbors during the shooting of the unarmed 17-year old Trayvon Martin indicate the shooter's story is not true. George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch captain, claimed he shot Trayvon in self-defense. He was not arrested.
Many have commented on the Internet that an injustice has been done with no one arrested. 400,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling for murder charges to be pressed against George Zimmerman. On the surface this seems to be a simple story of a black teen who went to buy candy at a store in a gated community and didn't come home. He is approached by the Neighborhood Watch captain on his return, because as Zimmerman told the police dispatcher, he felt "this guy looks like he is up to no good. He is on drugs or something." And because of this feeling, not his observation of a crime in progress, Zimmerman winds up taking Trayvon Martin's life.
The Washington Post reports that the family has listened to the police tapes and stated that they can hear their child yelling for help. Neighbors, some of whom were on other recorded calls as the drama unfolded, support the family's version.
“There is somebody screaming outside,” one female caller said, as an unknown male voice can be heard crying in the background. Then a shot is heard. Another male caller tells the dispatcher: “I just heard a shot right behind my house ... They’re wrestling right behind my porch. The guy is yelling ‘Help.’ I’m not going outside.”
After reading about these calls, I believe that Trayvon was not assaulting Zimmerman.
Although Zimmerman was not a police officer, neighbors tell the Miami Herald that he took his neighborhood watch duties seriously and was extremely zealous. He is said to have knocked on doors asking that they report anything strange with 'strange' including the presence of a black male. He is also reported to have called the police dispatch 46 times during the month of January 2011.
Justice must be demanded for the family of Trayvon Martin.
The Martin family has asked that the case be turned over to the State Attorney's office who can decide if it is appropriate to file charges or present evidence to a grand jury. These simple stories must stop!
I am sick. Do you think Zimmerman should be prosecuted?
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