Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blacks SHOULD Be Outraged Over Trayvon Martin Killing

I have been writing this over and over for the last few days. It seems 24 hours cannot pass without another piece of new information emerging. Through it all, however, I cannot shake this creeping sense of dread.

I wanted to look at the facts in the case and comment and come to a conclusion about why no one has been charged in the shooting. But, the dread I felt creeping about had to do with that passage from the 5th Amendment:
  • "No person deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."
In a sense, the on-line petitions, websites, et al, calling for the shooters' arrest are depriving him of due process; something which the black community has been fighting for itself for hundreds of years. Yet, that was only half the dread; the other half was the continuing injustices perpetuated against the black community, which this case shines a blinding light upon. Because unlike so many other cases, this man has actually admitted to shooting another person dead and claimed it was in self-defense and is walking around a free man. He had deprived someone of their life without due process.
(photo: Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images)
On February 26th, 2012, in the 50,000 or so population city of Sanford, Florida, a seventeen year old named Trayvon Martin met a completely unnecessary tragic end to his life from the 9mm bullet admittedly fired by George Zimmerman. These facts are not in dispute. As we know, the police department of Sanford believed Zimmerman's cry of self defense and did not arrest him.

Here we had a dead teenager, lying face down in the grass of a gated community, with a man standing over him with a flashlight! This, of course, according to much later released 911 tapes. I mean, you have seen your local news. You hear of some robbery or whatever, and then a couple days later you hear the obligatory 911 tapes on the TV news. Hmmm, well, not in this case. It was a newspaper (remember those?) that finally filed a lawsuit to release the 911 tapes. And they are not at all pleasant to listen to. And I do not use the word "pleasant" lightly here.

First listen to Zimmerman's initial call to the police department. When asked of the "suspicious" person's race, Zimmerman replies that "he looks black" and qualifies that remark after a question from the operator by describing Martin's clothing. Then he is sure he is "black" and without prompting declares that these "assholes always get away". When Martin runs away, Zimmerman gets out of his car and gives chase, in spite of the warning of the operator not to do that. As the wind whips passed the microphone of Zimmerman's phone he can be heard saying "fucking coons". After losing Martin, Zimmerman agrees with the operator to wait for the police and the call ends.

While this call was recorded for posterity, the call that Martin was on with his girlfriend was not. We do, however, have her statements regarding what happened to Martin up until the time the phone connection died. She described that Martin said some man was watching him. Where Zimmerman on his call says Martin is running away, Martin's girlfriend says he started walking away fast. She implored him to run, but he said he didn't want to run. He tells her the man is following him, but that he manages to lose him. Then she describes the encounter between the two as Martin asked, "What are you following me for?" and Zimmerman answered, "What are you doing around here?".

We can continue this chronology of events thanks to the earliest known 911 call from a worried homeowner saying someone is screaming for help in her backyard. You hear, with your own ears, the last pleading cries of a teenager looking down the business end of a 9mm gun! Think about that. Zimmerman claimed he yelled for help, but the 911 tapes clearly are the pleadings of a young man and the pleadings abruptly stop after the crack of a single gunshot. After that, 911 calls flood in describing the aftermath of the shooting.

What has been lost in all the viral media about this case over the last three weeks, is that after the initial shooting, for over a week, there was no real press about it other than another local story about a continuing series of Florida shootings justified by self-defense. Then, when the parents of Trayvon Martin started to make calls and talk about their story, it seemed that everyone was aware of this travesty of justice. Travesty, you say? Yes! The Sanford Police Department, for whatever reasons, bungled this case from the get go by announcing so early that it was simply a case of self-defense.

Taking the chronology I've presented above, with additional facts presented below, I would hope, if you are not a black American, that you would understand the outrage in the community over this singular shooting.

The police announced it was a case of self-defense right off the bat. Then the tapes of the 911 calls were released and doubts began to climb. Coupled that with the disturbing fact that the local police department failed to interview Trayvon Martin's girlfriend with whom he was on the phone with up to the time of the shooting. From this alone, we can see the official investigation was compromised in its conclusion to believe Zimmerman's on the scene plea of self-defense. I mean, he was not even arrested.

Zimmerman's tale, believed by the police, and more importantly, the DA, was that after returning to his car, Martin jumped him. Or, well, maybe, he confronted him and punched him in the nose. Then, Zimmerman says, Martin was on top of him, beating his head against the ground. They grappled for the gun, and Zimmerman fired one shot. The police reports released (partial reports) show that one of the officers went into great detail about Zimmerman's injuries, but not one word about Martin's injuries.

Now, I come to the two most glaring aspects of this case that cry out for an impartial external investigation. The first is the amount of time it took for Martin's parents to be notified that the dead John Doe in the morgue was their son. Why? According to the police report (see below), which was finished at 3:07am the morning after the shooting, you can plainly see that Trayvon Martin's name, date of birth and other information is right there! But, no cell phone was recovered (recall he was talking to his girlfriend up to the time of the shooting) or wallet at the scene? It was not until the next afternoon that Martin's parent were presented with awful truth? What the ---?

Second, and most glaring and disturbing of all in light of what has transpired over the weeks, is the police and DA's acceptance of Zimmerman's self-defense plea (despite Martin's girlfriend's statements). Aside from the police report, there was no other verification of Zimmerman's claim of being punched in the nose and having his head slammed against the ground. It shouldn't surprise anyone that right-wing talk show hosts had a field day with this part of the story. Of course it was self-defense they cry, the black kid was pounding his head over and over against the sidewalk! His nose was broken!

Then for whatever Mainstream Media reason, ABC News obtained and released video footage from the Sanford Police Department's video surveillance system. You can see a handcuffed Zimmerman emerge from the police car and walk with ease to the garage door. Then, the image cuts to Zimmerman and the police walking through a room. What's is remarkable, astounding given the amount of race hatred seething through the media about that black "thug" Trayvon Martin, is how Zimmerman looks! Look, look closely! I have had a bloody nose or three in my time and as we all know, they bleed like a son of a bitch. I've cut my head a few times, it bleeds like a son of bitch. But look at Zimmerman, no blood on his shirt, no blood on his jacket, no cut on his head, no bruises. And after supposedly wrestling on the ground, his damn shirt is still tucked in! Add to that the statements by the funeral director who prepared Martin's body for burial, that he had no injuries to his hands or knuckles, and the idea of any kind of physical confrontation the way Zimmerman describes it evaporates like so much steam.
Broken nose? There isn't any blood all over his shirt and/or jacket. You know how noses bleed. Scuffle with the big bad black kid? His shirt is tucked into his pants! Who, or why, is covering up for whom?
Should blacks be outraged by what is obviously being played out right before their eyes? Are you kidding? We should all be outraged by this! I have not presented the facts above to further inflame, for those flames have been burning long before I started walking this earth. I have presented them in an effort to show how the 5th Amendment's guarantee of due process failed Trayvon Martin that night, and if the 21st century version of revenge eclipses, Zimmerman's due process as well. We must be vigilant of the rights of all or we lose the rights of us all.

UPDATE: Also, read this!

SECOND UPDATE: ABC News released a photo on April 20th which allegedly shows cuts and blood on the back of George Zimmerman's head. Coming on the same day as Zimmerman's bail hearing and nearly two months after the shooting, it is suspect at best. You'll notice the man is talking on his cell phone! Who was he calling? For don't forget, as shown above, Martin is pleading for his life. How can he be bashing Zimmerman's skull and wailing for "help"?

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