Making Sense Of The Trayvon Martin Case

Last month in Sanford, Fla.,  Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old unarmed black teenager was shot to death by George Zimmerman, a watch captain for the neighborhood. Several inadvertencies and new evidence make the Trayvon Martin case a little bit difficult to put all the pieces together. As civil rights advocates are pressuring authorities to make an arrest, everybody is trying to make some sense of the Trayvon Martin case.

The February 26th shooting is still puzzling authorities. George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain, said he had to shoot Trayvon Martin in self-defense after the victim had allegedly attacked him. But, police records show that Zimmerman has a track history of previous criminal misconduct or violence.

At the same time, there’s some sort of inconsistency regarding Zimmerman’s ethnic background. According to the police, Zimmerman is white, but the shooter’s family claims he is Hispanic.

Also new evidence shows that the victim was talking to his girlfriend on his phone just several moments before being shot. His words pointed out that Zimmerman might have been following him, which basically tears down the shooter’s alleged self defense claim.

The case drew the attention of civil rights advocates. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the American Civil Liberties Union and the Nation of Islam want Zimmerman to be arrested. Benjamin Jealous, NAACP’s national president, said: “I stand here as a son, father, uncle who is tired of being scared for our boys. I’m tired of telling our young men how they can’t dress, where they can’t go and how they can’t behave”.

The Trayvon Martin case has been a pain for the authorities. Tuesday, Governor Rick Scott’s office had to contain a protest, as people living in the Orlando suburb where the shooting took place rallied against the local police department.

The issue at hand got the attention of the Justice Department also. The Department is sending in people with its Civil Rights Division to “address tension in the community”. Jealous seemed satisfied about the Justice Department’s involvement. He said: “We are pleased the Department of Justice has heeded our calls and agreed to investigate this outrageous case”

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