The family of the 17-year-old African-American boy shot to death last month in his own gated Florida community by a white Neighborhood Watch captain seeks that neighborhood watchman's arrest, according to a Yahoo News article.
Trayvon Martin took a break from watching the NBA All-Star Game to get snacks from a local convenience store for his 13-year-old brother, Chad, the family's lawyer Ben Crump said. It was during that walk that he was shot and killed.
Crump announced that the family would issue a call for the Watch captain's arrest at a news conference on Thursday. "On his way home, a Neighborhood Watch loose cannon shot and killed him," said Crump.
Trayvon had been visiting his father and stepmother in a gated community called The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, FL 20 miles north of Orlando.
During Trayvon's return to his father's townhouse, Sanford police received a 911 call reporting a suspicious person.
According to both Crump and media reports compiled at the time of the shooting, the caller was George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman is listed in the community's newsletter as its Neighborhood Watch captain. Yet all of the names on the original police report have since been blacked out.
Crump claims that Zimmerman confronted Trayvon, without waiting for police to arrive, on the sidewalk near his home and by the time police arrived Trayvon was dead of a single gunshot to the chest.
And "[w]hat do the police find in his pocket? Skittles," said Crump. "A can of Arizona ice tea in his jacket pocket and Skittles in his front pocket for his brother Chad."
Zimmerman has yet to comment as he could not be reached at his phone number listed in the community's newsletter.
Crump additionally claimed that the family was worried that Zimmerman might claim self-defense, and also voiced concerns that police have ignored the family's request for a copy of the original 911 call, which they believe will help to shape the context of the shooting.
"If the 911 protocol across the country held to form here, they told him not to get involved. He disobeyed that order," said Ryan Julison, a family spokesman.
"He didn't have to get out of his car," Crump said."If he never gets out of his car, there is no reason for self-defense. Trayvon only has skittles. He has the gun."
Crump also said that he is prepared to file a public records lawsuit Thursday if the family doesn't get the 911 tape by then
Since Trayvon was black and Zimmerman is white, Crump said race is "the 600 pound elephant in the room."
"Why is this kid suspicious in the first place? I think a stereotype must have been placed on the kid," Crump said.
It cannot be understated that race may have impacted Zimmerman's decision to approach and eventually shoot Trayvon.
The family has a right to know what happened to their son and by withholding the 911 tape the family is being denied of their opportunity to know the truth.
Additionally, with all of the circumstantial evidence proffered against Zimmerman, including the 911 tape where Zimmerman may have been ordered to back off and the fact that Trayvon did not possess a weapon, the District Attorney should have enough evidence to pursue murder charges against Zimmerman.
Accordingly, I would not be surprised if charges are filed against Zimmerman within the next week or so.
What do you think?
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