On the night of February 26, Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie and had bought Skittles and an Arizona tea at a convenience store in Sanford, Florida. Sometime after that, he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a self-proclaimed neighborhood watch captain.
THE 911 TAPES:
As evident by the 911 tapes, on Feb. 26, 2012, George Zimmerman called 911 to report, what he referred to as, a suspicious person walking in the neighborhood. On the 911 tapes, you can clearly hear the 911 operator ask Zimmerman if he is following Trayvon. Zimmerman says, “Yes.” The dispatcher then tells Zimmerman NOT to follow Trayvon. He says, “We don’t need you to do that.” Zimmerman, who is reportedly a habitual 911 caller, says that these a-holes always get away. He then says that this person (Trayvon) appeared to be up to no good and he states that it’s raining. Zimmerman then says that something is wrong with Trayvon and he doesn’t know what his deal is. Zimmerman also claims that Trayvon is coming to check him out, but then admits that he is following Trayvon. Zimmerman is heard on the 911 tapes saying the racial slur, “f-ing coons,” which is commonly known to mean “Africoons,” which is a racial slur for Africans and/or African Americans. Zimmerman then says to 911 that Trayvon Martin looked like he was on drugs.
He then says, “He’s running. He’s getting away!” You can then hear Zimmerman breathing heavily as he is chasing Trayvon Martin. On the 911 tapes, you can clearly hear someone screaming for help before neighbors heard a gunshot. Some say it’s George Zimmerman’s voice screaming for help, while others say that it’s Trayvon Martin screaming for help. Regardless of whose voice one might say it is, all witnesses agree that after the gunshot was heard, the screaming stopped. Because I’ve heard the 911 tapes and screaming, and because the screaming stopped after Trayvon Martin was shot dead, I say that the voice on the 911 tape is Trayvon Martin’s.
George Zimmerman said that he stopped following Trayvon Martin and went to his truck. He then says that Trayvon came after him, punched him in the nose, got on top of him and then slammed his head on the sidewalk banging his head on the cement. Zimmerman then says that he shot Trayvon Martin in self defense and is using the “Stand Your Ground Law” that allows for an individual to protect themselves even with the use of deadly force if one feels as if their life is threatened.
Recently, a controversial police surveillance video has been released showing George Zimmerman being escorted to the police department shortly after shooting Trayvon Martin. In this video, Zimmerman does not display any of the bruises, the bloody nose, nor any of the injuries that he is claiming to have received during his scuffle with Trayvon Martin in which he is claiming to have shot him in self-defense. To watch the police surveillance video, click on the following link: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/28/27
Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend has testified that she was on the phone talking with Trayvon as Zimmerman was following him. She says that Trayvon told her that someone was following him. She then says that she heard pushing. She believes that someone pushed Trayvon because she heard his cell phone’s head set fall off. Trayvon’s girlfriend then says that the phone went dead. She tried to call him back, but got no answer.
Several other witnesses have come forward saying that they saw George Zimmerman straddling Trayvon Martin’s body after they heard the fatal gunshot while there is reportedly a witness saying that they saw Trayvon Martin on top of George Zimmerman.
Joe Oliver, a self-proclaimed close friend of Zimmerman claiming to be a black man who just looks white has appeared on numerous news shows supporting his friend’s claims of self-defense in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Oliver has even, by his own admission, has quit his job in order to defend Zimmerman’s reputation. Recently, after being questioned extensively on the Lawrence O’Donnell show, Joe Oliver had no other choice than to admit that he is not a close friend of George Zimmerman nor has he seen him since at least a week before the shooting incident. When questioned about his relationship with George Zimmerman, he constantly smirked and appeared to be forcing himself not to laugh. Why he thinks this is a joking matter is beyond me.
Let’s take a closer look at this situation. First of all, why is it that George Zimmerman felt that he had the right to question Trayvon Martin as to who he was and where he was going? Zimmerman never revealed himself to Trayvon, so why should Trayvon be required to answer any of Zimmerman’s questions or reveal himself to him when Zimmerman is not a police officer. Although George Zimmerman claims to have been a captain of the neighborhood watch program, of the 22,000 neighborhoods registered under the program, Zimmerman’s name is not found among them. Although George Zimmerman is claiming to have been the neighborhood watch captain, he clearly was not, and I’ll be glad when people stop referring to him as such.
According to Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend and Zimmerman as well, Trayvon was running away from Zimmerman. On the 911 tapes, you can hear Zimmerman say, “He’s running. He’s getting away.” If Trayvon Martin was running “away” from Zimmerman, how did a physical confrontation between the two take place where Trayvon was able to allegedly punch Zimmerman in the nose and beat him up? If Zimmerman so feared Trayvon Martin, why was he chasing him instead of going in the opposite direction of him?
Although Zimmerman says that Trayvon Martin beat him up, there is no report that the police took him to the hospital, neither has any medical records of his injuries been produced, although the police report states that Zimmerman received first aid treatment for his injuries inside of the police car when being escorted to the station. If Zimmerman’s injuries were so severe as to have a broken nose as he claims, why didn’t he go to the hospital for treatment? Even Zimmerman’s own attorney has said on national television that it is Zimmerman himself that told him that Trayvon Martin had given him a broken nose. When asked if he had medical records to documents his client’s story, he declined to answer.
What I find extremely questionable is Zimmerman’s account of how Trayvon Martin followed him to his truck, punched him in the nose, and wrestled him to the ground. The reason why I do not find Zimmerman’s story credible is because the 911 tapes clearly show that Zimmerman was actively and relentlessly pursuing Trayvon who “he said” was running away. If Trayvon Martin was running away from Zimmerman as Zimmerman told the 911 dispatch officer, how could Trayvon then, all of a sudden, turn back around and now be following Zimmerman to his truck where he supposedly attacked him? A person can only go in one direction at a time. Just as Trayvon’s direction keeps changing; so does Zimmerman’s story. I also wonder why Zimmerman would find it suspicious for a person to be wearing a hoodie when he himself said that it was raining.
Zimmerman’s story simply does not add up. If Zimmerman was actively chasing Trayvon Martin, and then caught up with him and shot him AFTER he went back to his truck to retrieve a gun, this looks more like Trayvon Martin was standing his ground in self defense and not the other way around. Trayvon Martin, by Zimmerman’s own words, was trying his best to get away from Zimmerman who was relentlessly pursuing him. Zimmerman is now saying that Trayvon Martin tried to grab the gun from him as they were in a scuffle, which resulted in the shooting. My question is why did George Zimmerman pull a gun out on Trayvon in the first place? If someone pulls a gun out on you, should you not try to protect yourself even to the point of trying to grab for the gun? What world does George Zimmerman live in? Certainly not the one in which most of us live.
As George Zimmerman is trying desperately to make the victim, Trayvon Martin, out to be the perpetrator, he is showing more and more evidence of his own guilt in the process. A man with a gun versus a teenager with a bag of skittles and a can of tea: Yeah, Martin was really threatening. Just thinking of all of the things that he could have done to Zimmerman with a bag of skittles is alarming. Zimmerman made the comment to the 911 dispatcher that Trayvon had something in his hand. When Zimmerman got close enough to Trayvon that he was able to shoot him in the chest, he had to have seen that what Trayvon had in his hand was a bright red, yellow, and orange colored bag of skittles. Since Zimmerman mentioned to the 911 dispatcher that he was concerned about whatever it was that Trayvon Martin had in his hand, I would think that when he got close enough to Trayvon, the very first thing that he would have done is look to see what it was that Trayvon Martin had in his hand especially if he thought that it could have been something life threatening. The physical altercation that took place between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was one in which Zimmerman himself instigated. One cannot claim self-defense when they themselves are the aggressor in the situation. The only person who can claim self-defense in this situation is the person who was truly in fear of their life as evident by their running away. That person is Trayvon Martin.
The racial slurs uttered by George Zimmerman and clearly heard on the 911 tapes is evident of a possible hate crime. Zimmerman said, “THEY” always get away. The word “they” refers to someone else other than who is speaking the word “they.” The word “they” also refers to a specific group of people. George Zimmerman didn’t say that “we” always get away. He said that “they” always get away and then he referred to Trayvon Martin as an f-ing coon.
There is absolutely no question that the Sanford police department has failed miserably to properly and adequate investigate the shooting that resulted in the death of Trayvon Martin.
When I hear individuals, such as Geraldo Rivero, saying that Trayvon’s hoodie was just as much to blame for his death as George Zimmerman, as if only young black boys wear hoodies, I am appalled that such a high level of ignorance is so prevalent in our society. Geraldo Rivero’s comment could be compared to one saying that women who wear provocative clothing are responsible if they are raped. No individual deserves to be gunned down or raped simply because of the type of clothing that they choose to wear. Surely an individual of public stature, such as Geraldo Rivero, should know this. If individuals in our society have the freedom to choose their gender and their sexual orientation in peace by marrying individuals of the same sex and having sex change operations, surely one can freely choose the type of clothing that they wear without being stalked, harassed, and gunned down in the street simply for walking while black.
Now, Zimmerman is saying that Trayvon grabbed for his gun before he shot him. Question of the year: Why was a gun being pointed at Trayvon Martin in the first place? Trayvon, by Zimmerman's own words, was NOT a threat until they got into a scuffle and he tried to grab for his gun. If the scuffle didn't ensue until Trayvon grabbed for the gun, then who is really at fault? Who was the aggressor and who was really standing their ground in self defense? What exactly did George Zimmerman expect Trayvon Martin to do when he pulled a gun on him? He couldn’t run. He had already tried that and it didn’t work. Why did Zimmerman feel the need to pull a gun out on someone who was not a threat until a gun was pointed at him? What else was Trayvon Martin supposed to do after being followed, stalked, chased, and now a gun is being pointed at him? He did what any reasonable person would do. He exerted his Stand Your Ground rights and fought back trying to defend himself.
Trayvon Martin is the only person involved in this case who reasonably felt that his life was threatened because his life is the only life that was threatened. The proof that Trayvon’s life was threatened is that he is no longer with us. I am not at all trying to play judge and jury, nor am I qualified to decide what needs to be done to George Zimmerman, but there are just too many holes in Zimmerman’s story and too many unanswered questions for the Sanford police department to think that they can simply sweep this dead young man’s body under the rug in the hopes that this atrocity will miraculously go away.
I urge everyone in America to listen to the 911 tapes and review the facts of this case and listen to Zimmerman’s own words. No individual who is innocently walking down the street carrying a bag of skittles and a can of tea, regardless of their race, deserves to be racially profiled to the point of being gunned down in the street. May Trayvon Martin rest in peace, and may God provide his family and his supporters with the comfort of knowing that he did not die in vain.