I have a 10 year old biracial son and two black stepsons – 11 and 12 years old – who will all three one day be 17-year old football players who live in predominately white neighborhoods. This story hits so close to home, it brought tears to my eyes and I’m heartbroken… heartbroken for all of the dreams and ambitions this child will never be able to realize – heartbroken for his family and friends, coaches…
My prayers go out to his parents and loved ones as they struggle to figure out how to cope with such a senseless tragedy that stripped a young high school athlete of his entire life and robbed his family of everything but the memory he leaves behind.
SANFORD, FLORIDA: Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old black high school athlete from Miami, was visiting his father and stepmother and decided to walk to a nearby store to purchase Skittles. On his way back to the family’s predominantly white neighborhood, the neighborhood watch leader called police and told them he saw someone “suspicious” in the neighborhood. The police reportedly advised him not to pursue the individual – advice he ignored. During the 911 call on February 26th, George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old Seminole State College student, told the dispatcher, “but they always get away…” and continued his pursuit of Martin.
Apparently, the 17 year old black teen realized he was being followed and asked the watch captain if there was a problem. A physical altercation ensued. The watch captain then fatally shot the 17 year old in the chest in what he claims to be self defense – against a teen armed with Skittles.
Zimmerman, who is white, has not been charged in connection with Martin’s death – a decision police say is largely due to a continuing investigation into the case combined with the fact that Zimmerman has a clean prior record and an educational background in Criminal Justice. However, a search of public records in Orange County, Florida reveals that he was arrested in 2005 for battery on a police officer as well as resisting arrest: Case No. 2005-CF-009525-A-O. Contrarily, Trayvon Martin’s criminal record is flawless.
Attorney Benjamin Crump has filed public records lawsuit on behalf of Martin’s family in hopes of securing the audio of the 911 call and released the following statement in relation to the case:
[The police] just lied to the family. They just couldn’t see why [Zimmerman] would do anything wrong or be violent. But not only do you know the guy killed this kid, because he admitted to it, you knew that he has a propensity for violence because of his past record.
Not only should Zimmerman be arrested and charged with murder, but he should also be charged with a federal hate crime. He obviously saw this kid as suspicious solely because he was black and he pursued him against police instruction as a result then took unnecessary action resulting in Martin’s death. Why is he still loose in society? Tell me the last time a black man killed an unarmed white teenager and went free based on his prior record. Oh, no rush. I’ll wait.
People wonder why there is such strong distrust toward law enforcement officials among the black community. Well, here’s part of your answer: You have a self-appointed civilian-cop who has admitted to shooting a black teen dead after he basically stalked him for being “suspicious” (code-word for “black” in a white neighborhood) and investigators see no reason to make an arrest. Something must be done.