Details Emerge on Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Teen
Last February 26, a volunteer community watchman fatally shot an unarmed teen who was simply walking in their gated community.
The suspect George Zimmerman has not been officially charged for the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The teen was walking home from the convenience store when Zimmerman spotted him. He immediately called 911 to report a “suspicious man.” The 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman not to confront Martin, but by the time authorities arrived, the teen was dead with a gunshot wound in the chest. On Martin was a small amount of cash, some candy, and an iced tea.
Zimmerman has been subject to numerous complaints from neighbors for his overly aggressive behavior. At a homeowner’s association meeting on March 1, a resident tells Huffington Post, “One man openly expressed his frustration because he had previously contacted the Sanford Police Department about Zimmerman approaching him and even coming to his home.”
Due to the seeming inaction from law enforcement officials, protesters have gathered outside police headquarters. The family and public are outraged by the absence of criminal charges, so much so that this is quickly spurring a racial debate.
“This case is disturbing to say the least,” Rev. Al Sharpton told Huffpost. “This is appalling, to think that this guy admitted to initiating the conversation and that there was no crime other than the killing of this young man. Yet, [Zimmerman] is walking around with no threat of an arrest.”
Martin family attorney Ben Crump tells Sharpton, “I don’t think they have any intention on arresting this white man for killing this black boy.” He also added that a source with access to the 911 recording revealed that Zimmerman made a comment about Martin’s race and said he had no intention of letting the youth get away because, “they always get away.”
Police chief Lee issued a statement, “In this case Mr. Zimmerman has made the statement of self defense. Until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don’t have the grounds to arrest him.”
17-year-old Martin was a high school junior who played football. That weekend, he was visiting his father in Sanford and was catching the NBA All-Star-Games with his family. That evening, Martin decided to buy candy for his little brother at a nearby convenience store and because of that “suspicious behavior”, the teen was accosted and shot.