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 Justice for Travyon

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MessageSujet: Justice for Travyon   Mer 21 Mar 2012 - 17:36

Justice Department Investigation Is Sought in Florida Teenager’s Shooting Death
Published: March 16, 2012

MIAMI — Nearly three weeks after an unarmed teenager was killed in a small city north of Orlando, stirring an outcry, a few indisputable facts remain: the teenager, who was black, was carrying nothing but a bag of Skittles, some money and a can of iced tea when he was shot. The neighborhood crime watch volunteer who got out of his car and shot him is white and Hispanic. He has not been arrested and is claiming self-defense.
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Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel
Tracy Martin, left, and Sybrina Fulton, parents of Trayvon Martin, question the police inquiry into his death last month.
Related in Opinion

Charles M. Blow: The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin (March 17, 2012)

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Courtesy of Sybrina Fulton
Trayvon Martin

George Zimmerman
Beyond that, however, little is clear about the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 17.

As criticism of the police investigation mounts, so too do the calls for swift action in a case with heavy racial overtones. Protests grow larger each week, and lawyers for the family are now asking the Department of Justice to intervene. The case also brings into sharp focus Florida’s self-defense laws, which give people who feel threatened greater latitude in defending themselves than most states.

The police in of Sanford, where the shooting took place, are not revealing details of the investigation. Late Friday night, after weeks of pressure, the police played the 911 calls in the case for the family and gave copies to the news media. On the recordings, one shot, an apparent warning or miss, is heard, followed by a voice begging or pleading, and a cry. A second shot is then heard, and the pleading stops.

“It is so clear that this was a 17-year-old boy pleading for his life, and someone shot him in cold blood,” said Natalie Jackson, one of the Martin family lawyers.

The police maintain that under state law they cannot arrest George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer who was licensed to carry a concealed weapon, without probable cause. They turned the case over to the Seminole County state attorney this week.

A few neighborhood residents who say they heard a disturbance were interviewed by the police. But now two witnesses are coming forward to say their interviews were cursory, a charge the police department denies.

“The evidence doesn’t establish so far that Mr. Zimmerman did not act in self-defense,” Chief Bill Lee of the Sanford police said this week, responding to why Mr. Zimmerman had not been arrested. He said he would welcome a federal investigation. “We don’t have anything to dispute his claim of self-defense at this point.”

Florida’s self-defense law, known as Stand Your Ground, grants immunity to people who act to protect themselves if they have a reasonable fear they will be killed or seriously injured.

“Stand Your Ground is a law that has really created a Wild West type environment in Florida,” said Brian Tannebaum, a criminal defense lawyer in Florida. “It allows people to kill people outside of their homes, if they are in reasonable fear for their lives. It’s a very low standard.”

For Trayvon’s parents, the situation does not add up. They want Mr. Zimmerman arrested and the normal criminal justice process to begin.

“Everybody is outraged,” said Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father. “There is no justice in this. The public is outraged because my son only had snacks in his pocket, no weapon whatsoever, not even a fingernail file. For him to be murdered by someone who weighs more than 100 pounds than him, more than 10 years older than him, this is an outrage.”

Echoing a view held by many blacks in Sanford and elsewhere, the family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump, said the police appeared to be protecting Mr. Zimmerman.

“Had Trayvon been the person who was the triggerman, they would have arrested him from Day 1 and they wouldn’t have given him bail and he would be sitting in jail,” Mr. Crump said. “Zimmerman is free and sleeping in his own bed at night.”

Frustration also grew after the parents said they had been told by detectives that Mr. Zimmerman had a “squeaky clean” record. They knew this, the detectives said, because Mr. Zimmerman told them. But Mr. Zimmerman had been arrested in 2005 on charges of resisting arrest with violence and battery on a police officer. The charges were later dropped.

The police said it took them some time to run the check.

“A criminal background check was conducted within 12 to 24 hours after we got the call,” Sgt. David Morgenstern said.

Mr. Zimmerman lives in the predominantly white gated community where the shooting took place. A criminal justice major in college, he often patrolled the streets in his car. In the last 14 months, Mr. Zimmerman had made 46 calls to the police, officials said, reporting everything from alarms and disturbances to reckless driving and, most commonly, a “suspicious” person.

That night, he saw Trayvon, a tall Miami high school junior, shortly after 7 p.m. with the hood of his sweatshirt over his head, the police said. Trayvon had returned from a convenience store and was headed for his father’s girlfriend’s house, where he was staying.

Mr. Zimmerman trailed Trayvon in his car and placed a call to the police. The dispatcher told him to stay in his car and said the police would be on the way. But Mr. Zimmerman got out.

The two got into a struggle that was partly overheard by a few neighbors. Mr. Zimmerman wound up with a bloody nose and a cut to the back of his head. Trayvon was shot in the chest.

Mary Cutcher and her roommate said they heard Trayvon pleading. Then they heard a gunshot. They rushed outside and saw Mr. Zimmerman standing over the teenager. Ms. Cutcher said she did not think it was self-defense and added that the police took only a brief statement, despite her efforts to go into detail.

In a statement Thursday, the police said her statement to them matched Mr. Zimmerman’s.
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MessageSujet: Re: Justice for Travyon   Jeu 22 Mar 2012 - 18:11

How can a seventeen year old boy with a can of ice tea ,half the size of this man armed with a shot gun can be a threat to him.He was crying for help when the Mf shot him. There are witnesses who saw what happened.The young man was on the phone with his girl friend telling her there is man who is following him despite the fact that the operator told Zimmerman not to follow the young black teenager.This is an assassination and the assassin is allowed to take care of his business without being prosecuted.
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MessageSujet: Re: Justice for Travyon   Mer 28 Mar 2012 - 16:39

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