Martin was a 17-year-old Miami student visiting Sanford, Fla., near
Orlando, with his father when he was killed On Feb. 26. His father, who also
lives in Miami, was visiting his girlfriend in Retreat at Twin Lakes, a gated
2) Trayvon had made a short trip to a nearby 7-Eleven
store to pick of a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona iced tea as was
returning when he was stalked by Zimmerman.
Zimmerman, whose father is White and mother is of Peruvian descent, fatally
shot unarmed Tayvon in chest.
4) Zimmerman was an unregistered neighborhood watch
captain who was not supposed to carry a weapon while on patrol.
Chris Tutko, director of Neighborhood Watch for the National Sheriffs'
Association, told the Orlando Sentinel
that Zimmerman had broken a couple of cardinal rules. "If you see
something suspicious, you report it, you step aside and you let law enforcement
do their job," Tutko said. "This guy went way beyond the call of
duty. At the least, he's overzealous." Tutko also said volunteers should
never carry lethal weapons. He said "There's no reason to carry a
5) Though Zimmerman acknowledged killing Trayvon,
he was questioned and then released. Police did not follow basic guidelines of
homicide investigations such as testing him for drugs and alcohol, though they
performed the tests on Trayvon.
6) Trayvon was talking on his cell
phone to his girlfriend shortly before his death and reported being
followed by a strange man in a vehicle.
7) A police dispatcher
specifically told Zimmerman not to follow Trayvon, instructions he ignored. When
Zimmerman confirmed he was following Trayvon, the dispatcher said.
we don't need you to do that.” Zimmerman continued anyway.
8) Benjamin Crump, the family’s lawyer, said
that based on 911 tapes, Zimmerman harbored at least three stereotypes of Black
males: “He said, No.1, he looked suspicious. No.2, he must be high. No. 3, he’s
looking to break in some place.”
9) Some said that Trayvon became a suspect because
he wore a hooded sweat shirt, known as a hoodie. Some have even blamed
Trayvon’s death on his clothing. On the March 23 edition of Fox News' Fox &
Friends, network contributor Geraldo Rivera said, “I am urging the parents of Black
and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing
hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death
as George Zimmerman was.” However
others, such as CNN’s Anderson Cooper, say they frequently adorn hoodies and have
never been viewed as suspected criminals. And no one dare suspect New England
Patriots Coach Bill Belichick or Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, both
known for wearing hoodies, of being criminals. Some kooks posting on Fox News
Network site were extremely crass. One wrote, "GOOD SHOT ZIMMY. I’m just
glad Zimmerman didn’t miss and hit an innocent bystander."
10) 10) Police say Zimmerman was not arrested because
of Florida’s stand your ground law, a measure that gives broad protection to
any citizen acting in self-defense.
However, Jeb Bush, who as governor of Florida signed the stand your
ground bill into law, said the legislation does not cover the neighborhood
watch captain who shot Trayvon Martin to death. “This law does not apply to
this particular circumstance,” Bush said
after an education panel discussion at the University of Texas at Arlington.
“Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn’t mean chase after
somebody who’s turned their back.”
11) 11) At
9 years old, Trayvon saved his father’s life. In an interview
with Roland Martin on TV One, the elder Martin said: “At the time, he was 9
years old. We had just came from the Little League football park. We fell
asleep while the stove was on. A grease fire started. I went into the kitchen
to try to put the grease fire out. The grease splattered all over my leg. My
body went into shock and by me and him being in the house, I started calling
out his name. He finally woke up and, at 9 years old, he pulled me from out of
the kitchen, where the kitchen cabinets were on fire. He pulled me out of the
kitchen onto the balcony. He actually went back into the house and got the cell
phone and called 911.”
12) 12) Trayvon’s
parents still have nightmares about his death. His father, in an exclusive interview
with NNPA publishers, said: “I can’t describe the feeling, I can’t describe
what was going through my mind because I was actually staring at a photo of my
pride and joy on the ground dead. I still see the photo now – his eyes weren’t
closed all the way, his mouth wasn’t closed, it was the worst feeling of my
George E. Curry,
former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service, is
editorial director of Heart & Soul magazine. He is a keynote speaker,
moderator, and media coach. Curry can be reached through his Web site,
www.georgecurry.com You can also follow him at www.twitter.com/currygeorge.
Trayvon Martin was Standing His Ground
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