Trayvon Martin was killed in Sanford, Florida by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watchman.
On the evening of February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman went out to patrol the gated neighborhood in his vehicle as he did every night because of several break-ins had been reported in recent weeks. While out patrolling his neighborhood, Zimmerman saw a young black teenager with a hood over his head so he started to follow him. Zimmerman called the police emergency dispatcher to report a suspicious person.
In the 911 call the dispatcher asks Zimmerman if he is following Trayvon Martin in which he responds, “Yep.” The dispatcher tells Zimmerman, “Okay, we don’t need you to do that.”
The dispatcher and Zimmerman made plans to have police meet with him by the mailboxes, but Zimmerman changes his mind and tells the dispatcher to have an officer call him when they arrive and he’ll tell them where he is at.
Zimmerman violated the Neighborhood Watch manual which states, “It should be emphasized to members that they do not possess police powers. And they shall not carry weapons or pursue vehicles.”
Trayvon Martin, 17-year old was unarmed and walking home after buying candy and iced tea from a convenience store. A female friend of Trayvon Martin told ABC News, “Trayvon said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man. I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run, but he said he was not going to run.”
A sequence of 911 calls come from neighbors in the area reporting of screaming and hearing gun shots. In the first 911 call you can hear Trayvon Martin screaming in the background. The dispatcher asked the woman on the phone if he looks hurt to her. The woman tells the dispatcher that she can’t see him and she doesn’t want to outside because she doesn’t know what’s going on.
In another 911 call from a neighbor, he tells the dispatcher that he heard screaming and a gun shot. He said they’re wrestling right in the back of his porch and added, there’s a black guy down and he thinks the person is dead outside his home. She tells him that they have several police officers headed in that direction.
In one of the 911 calls, screaming can be heard in the background as a woman tries to get help, you can then hear in the call two loud bangs of gun shots.
Sanford police said Zimmerman called 911 46 times since 2001, reporting disturbances, break-ins and other incidents. On nine different occasions, George Zimmerman reported a suspicious person.
George Zimmerman, 28-year-old has not been arrested and is not charged with a crime. He claims shooting Trayvon Martin was in self defense.
The case of Trayvon Martin’s death has been turned over to the State Attorney’s Office, which can decide whether to file charges or present evidence to a grand jury.
On Friday, Trayvon Martin’s parents called on the FBI to take over the investigation, because they say the can longer trust the Sanford police department. Sanford police Sgt. David Morgenstern said the department stands by its investigation but welcomes help from any outside agency. FBI agent David Couvertier said the agency has been in contact with Sanford police and is monitoring the case.
The Justice Department released a statement saying, “The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action and the conclusion of the investigation. The government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted intentionally and with the specific intent to do something which the law forbids. Negligence, recklessness, mistakes and accidents are not prosecutable under the federal criminal civil rights laws.”
Nearly half a million people have signed an Trayvon Martin petition on change.org wanting law enforcement officials to arrest Zimmerman.