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Nobody was hurt. Nobody died. It was just a police car damaged which had been parked near the scene of the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Since George Zimmerman has not been arrested, and still has his gun, it obviously could have been George who fired the shots. That scenario seems unlikely since George seems to be pretty tight with the police in Sanford. It has been more than one month since the shooting of Trayvon Martin and no arrest has been made. Whether Zimmerman shot in self defense or not is for a jury to decide, but they can’t decide unless an arrest is made. The frightening thing is that people are patrolling the streets in Sanford with loaded weapons, and the shooting has begun. If somebody had been standing near the police car when the shots were fired, they would have been justified in “standing their ground” and shooting back.
When I was younger I enjoyed watching Miami Vice, because it was not real. It was set in Florida, but they didn’t shoot real bullets when they were filming. Nobody really died, and nobody was in real danger. Trayvon Martin really died, and people are now shooting real bullets at real police cars in Sanford, Florida. Shooting a police car is a sign of defiance and a direct attack on law and order in Sanford. MLK Jr. would be ashamed if the shooter was an African American. However as frustration rises over this case, more violence is likely. It’s time for the police to take responsibility and make an arrest of George Zimmerman. A jury should decide the fate of George Zimmerman before somebody else gets killed.
The Grand Jury in the Trayvon Martin Case was scheduled to convene tomorrow, April 10th. However that Grand Jury, like Rick Perry, will be taking the day off. In a surprise announcement today, Angela Corey, the special prosecutor assigned by Governor Rick Scott, declared that the case would not be taken to a Grand Jury. That would not be necessary.
Ever since Corey was appointed special prosecutor on March 22 by Gov. Rick Scott, she has said that she may not utilize a grand jury. Corey cautioned against reading too much into the decision, saying that “The decision should not be considered a factor in the final determination of the case.,” However there are a couple of observations that seem obvious. First Corey has a “reputation for not presenting cases before grand juries unless required.” Under Florida law, only first-degree murder cases require the use of grand juries. Thus we can conclude that the special prosecutor will not be recommending charging Zimmerman with first degree murder, and that the decision not to use a grand jury probably comes as no surprise to Governor Rick Scott. Given the facts that have been reported by all eyewitnesses, and the 9-1-1 recordings, there appears to be no evidence to support a charge of first degree murder. The second observation is that Corey must be anticipating charging Zimmerman with some type of crime, as this case has become too controversial to simply dismiss the case without validation from a grand jury, that there was no basis for charges to be filed. Corey would be concerned about her future employment and her relationship with the Governor, if she alone, made the decision not to bring charges of any kind against Zimmerman.
Violence against any person, for any reason, is abhorrent. When the victim is a child we weep. When the victim is a soldier we mourn the sacrifice he made. When the victim is a defenseless, unarmed mother of young children we are outraged. When the tragedy involved the elderly, it is hard to imagine the evil that motivated such an assault. Yet as horrific as it is to consider the crime in this country, against any person, at any time, “hate” crimes are even more outrageous.
Some crimes are the result of insanity. The shooting of Gabby Giffords was probably the best known crime by a person who was mentally ill. Some crimes are determined to be crimes of “passion” where the criminal is so overcome with emotion, that the crime results. The wife who finds her husband involved with a prostitution ring that employs the woman who gave her a massage, might be sufficiently outraged (especially if she were bipolar) that violence might result. Some violence is motivated by a desire for revenge. The Lorena Bobbitt case is a perfect example of a woman abused to the point of seeking revenge. However the victim of a “hate crime” is not only the individual, but the entire society. They are crimes committed against an individual because of his or her race, heritage, sexual preferences, or religious affiliation. In America, those differences are supposed to be protected by the Constitution, so to attack a person for any of these reasons, is an attack on our way of life. It is an assault on the right of life and liberty that we hold so dear. When people carry signs proclaiming “I am Trayvon” the message is, if you attack Trayvon, and ignore his right to life and liberty, you attack my sense of security to live in America, whether I am male, female, white, black, old, or young.
When the President says that his son would look like Trayvon, the message is that when you fail to protect the life of Trayvon Martin, you, the government and the police, fail to enforce the very laws that were designed to protect us.
The predictable response of every American is to question “Am I Next?”
The number of hate crimes in America is widespread, and affects a wide variety of races, religions, heritages, and sexual preferences. Consider just a few of the categories of these crimes that have been shown to be motivated by something other than the content of the character of the individuals.
The famous case of Matthew Shepard involved the assault on a young man who was attacked and died because he was gay. The two men who robbed him left him for dead, after typing him to a fence, pistol whipping him, and breaking his skull. The only part of his face that was not covered in blood was the path of his tears as they washed away the blood.
Who could forget the racially motivated hate crime of James Byrd Jr. when he was chained and dragged behind a truck in Jasper Texas until he died after his arm and head were severed.
Then there was the developmentally disabled man of Navajo heritage who was abused and branded with a swastika.
There was the stabbing of the Muslim cab driver in New York, because of his Muslim background.
Five people shot in a Jewish community center were targeted due to the fact that they were Jewish, and no other reason. The three that were children will spend the rest of their lives wondering if they will be targeted again.
In 2008 hate crimes were reported to be on the rise. In 2010 there were 1,606 hate crime offenses motivated by religious bias in 2008. Jews and Muslims were the target of 65.7 percent of them. Hate crimes based on sexual orientation increased 3% to 1,297, although the number of people victimized went up 13% to 1,706. In 2008 alone there were 2,876 hate crimes against blacks, 1,297 against gays, and 1,055 against Jews.
On Good Friday, three days ago, five blacks were shot in Tulsa Oklahoma, three of whom died. The men who have been arrested were white. Based upon Facebook postings of one of the men arrested, it appears that the shootings were racially motivated. Jake England, one of the two charged, wrote:
“…Today is two years that my dad has been gone shot by a fucking nigger…”
The name “Trayvon Martin” has become a household name. Yet the three killed in the racially motivated shooting in Tulsa, although equally tragic, will probably not be remembered by anyone other than their families. Why? Likewise the two elderly people beaten, raped, and killed in Tulsa Oklahoma will be mourned by their loved ones, but who remembers them? The loss of life, and the tragedy of their deaths would only make headline news for a day or two.
The three people killed on Good Friday were black people unknown by their white assailants. The two elderly white people attacked in their Tulsa home were attacked by a person who happened to be black.
Members of the Tulsa community and the police department expressed outrage immediately upon the commission of these crimes. In the case of the elderly people there was no indication that they were victimized because of the color of their skin. However the police responded by arresting the culprit, regardless of his skin color. In the recent shooting of blacks in Tulsa, the police department, the FBI, and the U.S. Marshal Service worked together immediately, forming a task force to find, and apprehend, these criminals. With 24 hours of the shootings, two men were arrested. It was no accident that they were apprehended. During an initial appearance in a press conference the police chief and Mayor of Tulsa, implored anyone with ANY knowledge to come forward in a united effort to bring the assailants to justice. The attitude of the Chief of Police was clear as he declared:
Not only was law enforcement actively involved in locating witnesses, but they were encouraging people to call with information even if they were unwilling to identify themselves. Because of the Facebook posting of the apprehended man it seems likely that it was someone on Facebook that suspected this individual’s involvement.
Unfortunately, the police were not so aggressive in bringing George Zimmerman to justice in the Trayvon Martin case. The shooter in that case admitted that he shot Tryvon, and the weapon was in his possession when he was taken into custody. When George Zimmerman was released his gun was returned. A month later George Zimmerman still has that gun, and is free to patrol another neighborhood. The shooters in the Tulsa killings were identified, apprehended, and charged within 24 hours. Blacks and whites worked together to bring about justice. The shooters in the Tulsa case may assert some type of insanity defense, but that will be up to a jury to consider. In the Martin case the, defense asserted by Martin was considered by the police, and the police became judge and jury.
It may be magical thinking to hope that hate crimes will ever disappear during my life-time. However I expect, and demand, that every law enforcement officer in America is committed to bringing about an end to hate crimes. Barack Obama has done his part by enacting the 2009 hate crime bill. Protesters around the country have done their part to bring national attention to not only the tragedy of the loss of Trayvon Martin, but also to the corruption of the police department in Sanford Florida. While we are ashamed to have a citizen who would commit such an unforgivable act towards an innocent teenager, it is even more reprehensible that the police seem to have assumed the role as protector and defender of George Zimmerman.
I am ashamed that any person from my home-town, Tulsa, Oklahoma, would be involved in such a horrific crime as the tragic shooting of five people in Tulsa on Good Friday. However I am proud to know that the police and government officials in Tulsa find this crime equally reprehensible. Until the police departments across the country demand justice for all, our sense of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will be threatened. We are all Trayvon Martin.
As the nation continues to mourn the loss of Trayvon Martin there is a growing sense of urgency in restoration of a sense of fundamental fairness. Racism has plagued America since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. While things have changed, they have stayed the same. Instead of hanging blacks, we are shooting them. Instead of wearing white robes and meeting at night in fields outside of local communities, white men calling themselves Neo-Nazis are patrolling the streets with loaded guns in broad daylight.
With his gun in hand, Commander Jeff Schoep of the National Socialist Movement proclaims that the heavily armed patrols in Sanford Florida are not “advocating any type of violence…but we are prepared for it.” Mr. Schoep is “prepared” for violence, just like George Zimmerman was prepared; armed, dangerous, and full of himself. In particular Mr. Schoep mentions the bounty offered by the New Black Panters, and explains that if there should be a race riot, “we would already be in the area.” Standing ready to fight, Mr. Schoep is like George Zimmerman, whose goal was to make sure that “they” don’t get away this time.
It is the lack of confidence in our police force, and court system, that gives rise to the killing of innocent people. It is the empowerment of men like George Zimmerman, and Jeff Schoep, with guns and ammunition, that gives them the perceived approval to take the law into their own hands. When people like George Zimmerman and Jeff Schoep “patrol” the Sanford community it is predictable that violence will result. The only question is when, where, and how many victims will be perceived to be a threat. George Zimmerman claims that he perceived Trayvon Martin to be a threat, even though he was armed with Skittles and an Iced Tea. Surely Jeff Schoep “patrolling” with a loaded gun would be perceived by most people as more of a “threat” than Trayvon Martin. He was only wearing a hoodie. Jeff Schoep is carrying a loaded weapon. If I were black, and lived in Sanford, and saw Jeff Schoep walking toward me at night with his loaded weapon I would be in fear. The outcome of that encounter would depend on whether I too had a gun, and who was faster to stand our ground.
Hundreds of articles have appeared in the last month regarding the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. Even though George Zimmerman admitted to shooting Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed, he claimed he was acting in self defense.. The first undisputed piece of evidence that Zimmerman’s side of the story was a lie was the police video of Zimmerman’s arrival at the police station.
There was no evidence of a broken nose, and any marks on his head seemed inconsistent with Zimmerman’s story.
Expert witness have confirmed that the pleas for help recorded on the 9-1-1 call came from someone other than George Zimmerman. Given the fact that Trayvon Martin was the only other person involved, it seems pretty obvious that the cries for help came from Trayvon Martin. Moreover, given everything that happened in this short period of time, there wasn’t time for Zimmerman to be in fear for his life. It is non-nonsensical to imagine a scenario whereby George Zimmerman was in fear for his life, while Trayvon Martin was screaming for help.
Until now I had not focused on the timing of the calls and events of that fateful night. Three important times tell us all we need to know.
At 7:12 Travon’s girlfriend calls him
At 7:16 the line from the call with his girlfriend goes dead.
At 7:52 Zimmerman arrives at the police station.
A total of 4 minutes passes between the initial call, and the phone line going dead, when Trayvon’s girlfriend is talking to him. During that call with his girlfriend, there is no sound of anyone calling for help. Thus the 9-1-1 calls made by the neighbors, during which the cries for help of Trayvon are heard, must have occurred between 7:16 and 7:52. In the span of 32 minutes, Zimmerman and Martin had some type of altercation, during which Trayvon called for help, several neighbors called for help, Trayvon was shot, Zimmerman removed himself from the body of Trayvon, police arrived, police walked with Zimmerman back to their car, police questioned Zimmerman, police arrested Zimmerman and handcuffed him, Zimmerman was checked out by the EMTs, Zimmerman was transported back to the police station.
The address of the Sanfordpolice Department is 815 W. 13th St., Sanford Florida. According to mapquest that location is 6.30 miles, and it would take 12 minutes to travel to that destination from the Retreat at Twin Lakes, where Martin was killed. . That leaves a total of 20 minutes for Trayvon to cry for help, for Zimmerman to shoot him, for the arrival of the police, apprehension and arrest of Zimmerman, reading Zimmerman his rights, handcuffing Zimmerman, walking back to the police car, and treatment of Zimmerman by EMTs. There seems to be little time for an investigation of the scene of the murder, attempting to locate Trayvon’s family, attempting to locate any eye witnesses, or even time for an EMT to provide any type of medical help. Based on the time alone, it appears the police were committed to getting George Zimmerman out of the public eye as quickly as possible. There wasn’t time to do a proper investigation by police, or even a proper medical assessment by the EMTs, much less treatment. It probably took Trayvon longer to walk to the 7-11 to buy Skittles than it did for Zimmerman to shoot him, be investigated by police, to be treated by the EMTs, and transported to the police station. If George Zimmerman was ever in fear for his life it wasn’t the night of the murder of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman barely had time to call him a “fucking coon.”
Trayvon Martin was only 17 years old when he was shot. Kenneth Chamberlain
was 68. Trayvon Martin was unarmed. Kenneth Chamberlain was unarmed too. Both were black men. Kenneth Chamberlain was a Marine veteran. Tryvon was too young to qualify to serve. Kenneth Chamberlain wasn’t wearing a shirt, and only his boxers. Trayvon was wearing a hoodie. Chamberlain was in his own apartment. Martin was near his father’s house. Racial slurs were used by the shooters before Martin and Chamberlain were shot. Recordings of the events leading up to the shootings were made in both cases. In the Trayvon Martin case it wasn’t a police officer who shot the teenager. In the Kenneth Chamberlain case, the police were summoned to Chamberlain’s residence for a medical emergency, but were told the call was made in error. In order to get into Chamberlain’s residence, the police had to take the locked door off its hinges. The police first used a taser on the 68 year old who was known to have a heart condition. They then fired bean bags at the victim, and finally killed him with two shots to the chest. Both Trayvon and Kenneth were shot and killed by gun shots to the chest in spite of the fact that they were both unarmed.
Kenneth Chamberlain was killed in November, and the police in White Plains New York have not yet identified the police officers who shot Mr. Chamberlain. The police in Sanford Florida have identified the shooter. No arrests have been made in either case.
It is common knowledge that black men make up a disproportionate segment of prison populations. Blacks make up 13.6% of the US population, but 40.2 % of all prison inmates. Maybe some of those prisoners were treated unfairly by police officers, or maybe the black men just realized that they might be shot and killed any day in their own apartment, or while walking to the local store for Skittles. If our laws are not applied equally to black men, why would anyone expect black men to have any sense of security, respect for the law, or hope of living a full life? It is a tragedy when black men are safer behind bars than in their own apartment, or talking to their girlfriend on the cell phone. It’s equally tragic that the story of Kenneth Chamberlain has just come to my attention. It didn’t even make national news.
Gindy53, sent me the link to this story, so thank you Gindy53! Please consider signing this petition.
pol shared the story of Anne Brown, after reading about Kenneth Chamberlain. It’s hard to realize that racism is still such a common thing in the United States.
Listen for yourself and you decide!
Yesterday’s post highlighted the reasons that George Zimmerman should have been arrested after admitting to the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Although Mr. Zimmerman claimed to have killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense, the evidence indicated that Mr. Zimmerman was the aggressor, and that the 17 year old African American teen was unarmed. The only thing he was guilty of was talking to his girl friend on his cell phone, eating a few Skittles, and drinking an ice tea. Mr. Zimmerman was told by the police dispatcher NOT to pursue Mr. Martin. Yet Mr. Zimmerman chased after Trayvon. Even though he has been reported to have been part of a neighborhood watch team, Mr. Zimmerman was never part of a trained neighborhood watch team. If he had been trained he would know that the neighborhood watch team was not supposed to carry a gun. He was a lone gunman, looking for trouble. Mr. Zimmerman aspired to be a policeman.
Zimmerman confirmed in his 9-1-1 call that Trayvon Martin was running away from him,… twice. Mr. Zimmerman says “these assholes, THEY always get away!” You might be wondering who “THEY” are. Later in the call Mr. Zimmerman says something that was thought to be a racial slur, but was difficult to hear. After hearing that part of the conversation, it is clear who “they” was. Yesterday I didn’t want to report on the words said, even though some sources reported that Mr. Zimmerman had referred to “fucking coons.” (If you are offended by the report of these words, imagine the outrage if you had a son or daughter referred to by this terminology and then gunned down). Today there is enhanced audio confirmation from CNN that convinces me that those were his exact words. Listen for yourself and you be the judge.
To make matters worse the witnesses who came upon the scene immediately after hearing the shots said that Zimmerman was found sitting on the back of Trayvon Martin, with a gun shot apparent in his back, and Trayvon’s face in the grass. Listening to their account, it sounded as if Zimmerman may have pinned Trayvon and shot him in the back. There is no autopsy information available to confirm or dispute where and how Trayvon Martin was killed. However under Florida law it will be information available to the public when it is issued.
The racial slur is important because it may allow federal prosecutors to indict Mr. Zimmerman under a federal law enacted during the Obama administration. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act makes it a federal crime to engage in violence because of a victim’s race.The applicability of the federal law is important in this case because of the questionable nature of the actions of the police in Sanford, who didn’t arrest Mr. Zimmerman. Police Chief Bill Lee Jr., who made the decision not to arrest Mr. Zimmerman, received a vote of “no confidence” from the City Commission. Yet, as of this time, Police Chief Lee has not been suspended or fired. There is no public trust of the police department in Sanford Florida.
Although some friends of Mr. Zimmerman
have suggested that he was an honorable person, and not prejudiced, Mr.Zimmerman’s background and behavior would indicate that he was a violent person. In 2005, George Zimmerman was twice accused of either criminal misconduct or violence. In July Mr. Zimmerman became profane and pushed an agent arresting a friend of Mr. Zimmerman. While Zimmerman was charged with resisting arrest without violence, he avoided conviction by entering a pretrial-diversion program. A month later, court records show, a woman filed a petition for an injunction against Zimmerman, citing domestic violence. Records show an injunction was issued in that case. Reached by email, the woman would not comment on her past with Zimmerman or his current situation.
Zimmerman resurfaced in court documents as a credit-card company pursued him for unpaid debts. Capital One accused Zimmerman of failing to pay more than $1,000. He settled with the company for $2,135.82, records show, to cover his debts with interest, as well as attorney and court costs. However, the credit-card company soon reported that Zimmerman wasn’t making the payments he had agreed to. Zimmerman’s employer at the time, CarMax, agreed to garnish his wages. That arrangement was canceled in late 2008 because Zimmerman was no longer employed by CarMax.
It’s unclear if or how Zimmerman was employed when he encountered Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26. Police say Zimmerman had called to report suspicious people on multiple occasions, just as he did when he saw Trayvon. In the past 15 months, he made 46 calls to Sanford police, according to records.
If Trayvon had been a young white teenager with his hoodie on due to the rain, and had gone out to get Skittles, he probably would have been able to finish the candy in the comfort of his dry home.
Instead of the phone abruptly going silent, Trayvon’s girl friend would probably have heard Trayvon’s tender words of “good bye,” and perhaps they’d be sharing a glass of iced tea today.
Zimmerman, who patrolled the Retreat at Twin Lakes development in his own car, had been called aggressive in earlier complaints to the local police and the homeowner’s association, according to a homeowner who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
At an emergency homeowner’s association meeting on March 1, “one man was escorted out because he openly expressed his frustration because he had previously contacted the Sanford Police Department about Zimmerman approaching him and even coming to his home,” the resident wrote in an email to HuffPost. “It was also made known that there had been several complaints about George Zimmerman and his tactics” in his neighborhood watch captain role.
Daily Kos is also reporting that Zimmerman’s ex-fiancé asserted that Zimmerman had “open handed smacked” her in the mouth in 2003, and had groped her sexually against her wishes in 2002. Thus there is testimoney that Zimmerman engaged in violence at least 3 times in the period of time prior to his murder of Trayvon Martin: once in 2002, once in 2003, and once in 2005.