The Trayvon Martin Murder: America On Trial
Trayvon screaming. America is still having a collective nightmare over those horrifying screams that echo in our heads and reverberate down through our souls. Those were the awful, full-throttle, undeniable screams of a terrified teenage boy who saw death coming for him seconds before it actually reached him.
It was those blood-curdling screams on the 911 tape that unleashed a tidal wave of rage that has swept across the country and even infiltrated the Oval Office, where President Obama felt compelled to offer sympathetic remarks not long after dispatching the Department of Justice and the FBI to carefully handle this ticking time-bomb of a case.
The cultural fault line can be located in Sanford, Fla., where an overzealous, trigger-happy, law enforcement reject named George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 as the boy journeyed back home from the store on the night of the NBA All-Star Game. Zimmerman, allegedly exasperated with a rash of break-ins inside his upscale, gated community, took an aggressive stance and disobeyed the direct order of a Sanford Police dispatcher who told him not to follow the boy he found suspicious.
The evidence uncovered thus far points to leaks in Zimmerman’s affidavit of self-defense and justifiable homicide, where he claims Martin was the aggressor and that he therefore feared for his life prior to pulling the trigger and changing the lives of two families — and a country — forever.
This singular case has galvanized a wide swath of Americans like few murder mysteries have in modern history, with varying demographics by the tens of thousands taking to the streets inside and outside of Sanford — and from as far away as New York — in a monolithic stance of seeking justice. Mainly with Zimmerman arrested and prosecuted for the unjustified murder of an innocent boy.
As the right-wing establishment is seemingly hell-bent on obliterating or rewriting civil rights gains earned through the blood of our forbearers, celebrities and athletes and political and civic leaders and throngs of the American populace have banded together, not only to find justice for Trayvon Martin and his grieving parents, who have bullet-sized holes in their souls, but to push America toward a more equitable and just balance in this society. And wherever justice prevails, you will find perpetuity. –terry shropshire
Tyler Perry Understands Trayvon Martin’s Plight; Says ‘Racial Profiling Should Be a Hate Crime’
Tyler Perry is living proof that success and money won’t eradicate America’s troubling issue of racial profiling. In a recent post on Facebook, Perry revealed why he understands Trayvon Martin’s plight. He, too, was a victim of racial profiling just days before he hosted an event for President Barack Obama. Below is an excerpt from Perry’s statement regarding his unfortunate brush with the law. Read the full statement at rollingout.com. –amir shaw
A few days before President Obama was supposed to speak at my studio, I was leaving the studio, headed to the airport. Most times when I leave the studio I have an unmarked escort. Other times I constantly check in my rearview mirror to be sure that I’m not being followed. It’s a safety precaution that my security team taught me. As I got to an intersection, I made a left turn from the right lane and was pulled over by two police officers. I pulled the car over and put it in park. Then, I let the window down and sat in the car waiting for the officer. The officer came up to the driver’s door and said that I made an illegal turn. I said, “I signaled to get into the turning lane, then made the turn because I have to be sure I’m not being followed.” He said, “why do you think someone would be following you?”
Before I could answer him, I heard a hard banging coming from the passenger window. I had never been in this position before so I asked the officer who was at my window what was going on and why is someone banging on the window like that. He said, “let your window down, let your window down. Your windows are tinted.” As I let down the passenger window, there was another officer standing on the passenger side of the car. He said, “What is wrong with you?” The other officer said to him, “He thinks he’s being followed.” Then, the second officer said, “Why do you think someone is following you? What is wrong with you?”
Before I could answer the officer on the passenger side, the one on the driver’s side had reached into the car and started pulling on the switch that turns the car on and off, saying, “put your foot on the brake, put your foot on the brake!” I was so confused as to what he was doing, or what he thought he was doing.
… The officer on the driver’s side continued to badger me, “why do you think someone is following you?” I then said, “I think you guys need to just write the ticket and do whatever you need to do.” It was so hostile. I was so confused. It was happening so fast that I could easily see how this situation could get out of hand very quickly. I didn’t feel safe at all. But one officer stopped his questioning and said, “we may not let you go. You think you’re being followed, what’s wrong with you?” At this point, I told him that I wanted to get out of the car. I wanted the passersby to see what was happening.
As I stepped out of the car another officer pulled up in front of my car. This officer was a black guy. He took one look at me and had that “Oh No” look on his face. He immediately took both officers to the back of my car and spoke to them in a hushed tone. After that, one of the officers stayed near his car while one came back, very apologetic.
I said all of that to say this: do you see how quickly this could have turned for the worse?
Now I know that there are many great officers, patrolmen and security guys out there. I am aware of that. But although we have made significant strides with racial profiling in this country, the world needs to know that we are still being racially profiled, and until this situation has improved greatly, I’m not sure how a murder in Florida can be protected by a “stand your ground law.”
… And in another case that I have been screaming at the top of my lungs about, also in Florida, is the case of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos, a young black man and a young Mexican man. Eight years ago, in Naples, Fla., they were both put in the back of Deputy Steve Calkins’ police car and never heard from again.
They were never arrested, never brought to jail. They were put into the back of Deputy Calkins’ car and never heard from again. And to this day Deputy Steve Calkins is a free man.
I guess it’s time to march in Naples now.
… RACIAL PROFILING SHOULD BE A HATE CRIME INVESTIGATED BY THE FBI!!!
That way local government can’t make the decision on whether or not these people get punished. –tyler perry
Trayvon Martin Murder Rally in Sanford, Fla.
The Trayvon Martin case has captured America’s hearts and attention in ways that few hate crimes have. Even President Barack Obama weighed in on the matter at the White House.
The multitudes weighed in with their feet. Some 10,000 concerned citizens representing the social fabric of our country poured into a park in downtown Sanford, Fla., a northern suburb of Orlando. It was a show of solidarity for Trayvon’s parents, with all demanding justice in the case. –terry shropshire
Trayvon Martin Supporters Across America
Trayvon Martin’s murder has brought attention the ongoing problems of race in America. In turn, individuals across the nation have galvanized to support Trayvon with the hopes of ending racial profiling. To honor Trayvon’s memory and bring attention to ongoing racial issues, supporters have used hoodies and Skittles candy as symbols of his legacy.
We have compiled the most captivating images of Trayvon supporters in America. –amir shaw
Congressman Bobby Rush Forced to Leave House Floor for Supporting Trayvon Martin and Wearing Hoodie
Congressman Bobby Rush, D-Ill., wanted to make a bold statement regarding Trayvon Martin’s murder. Rush approached the podium of the House of Representatives to give his take on the Martin’s killing. While speaking, Rep. Rush removed his suit jacket and pulled his hood over his head.
“I applaud the young people who are making a statement about hoods and the real hoodlums of this nation. Racial profiling has to stop. Just because someone wears a hoodie, it does not make them a hoodlum.”
Rep. Rush was interrupted by acting Speaker Gregg Harper, who banged his gavel and said, “The chair must remind members that clause five of rule 17 prohibits the wearing of hats in the chamber when the House is in session. The chair finds that the donning of a hood is not consistent with this rule. Members need to remove their hoods or leave the floor.”
Rep. Rush was eventually escorted from the chamber and never removed the hood from his head. –amir shaw
Trayvon Martin’s Girlfriend Comes Forward With Shocking New Info About Murder
Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend had to be admitted to the hospital because she was traumatized by hearing the entire confrontation that led up to Trayvon being shot by the white neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, in Sanford, Fla.
Trayvon was on the phone with his teenaged female friend in the last moments of his life. Trayvon told her that he was frightened because he was being followed and hounded by a strange man. The account provides further clues as to what really went down in the crucial moments before Zimmerman shot him dead.
“He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man,” Martin’s friend said. “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.”
The 16-year-old girl told Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump about the last moments of the teenager’s life.
Eventually he would run, said the girl, thinking that he’d managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering Martin.
“Trayvon said, ‘What, are you following me for?’ And the man said, ‘What are you doing here?’ Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon, because the head set just fell. I called him again and he didn’t answer the phone.”
The line went dead. Besides screams heard on 911 calls that night as Martin and Zimmerman scuffled, those were the last words he said.
Martin’s father, Tracey Martin, and mother, Sybrina Fulton, listened to the call along with ABC News, ashen-faced. ABC News reports the teenaged girl had to be taken to the hospital after learning that Trayvon was killed by the strange man, Zimmerman.
“He knew he was being followed and tried to get away from the guy, and the guy still caught up with him,” Tracey Martin said. “And that’s the most disturbing part. He thought he had got away from the guy and the guy backtracked for him.”
The teen was killed by Zimmerman while walking back to his father’s fiancée’s home after stepping out to buy Skittles and some iced tea during the NBA All-Star Game. After weeks of relentless pressure, the Sanford Police have decided to release emergency and non-emergency calls placed during the incident.
“These a–holes always get away,” Zimmerman says in a call to a non-emergency number.
Dispatcher: “Are you following him?”
Dispatcher: “We don’t need you to do that.”
Zimmerman disobeyed the direct order of the police dispatcher, which is problematic in and of itself. And since he did not adhere to the dispatcher’s order, Trayvon is dead. –terry shropshire
Diddy, Nelly, Ludacris and Other Celebs Wear Hoodies for Trayvon Martin
In the wake of the Trayvon Martin case, a number of celebrities have been inspired to don hoodies as a call for justice for the teen.
Hoodies have become symbolic in the investigation of the unarmed boy’s death because the 17-year-old was wearing one when George Zimmerman found him “suspicious” and killed him in a Sanford, Fla., neighborhood.
Since then, social networks have been bombarded with pictures and trending topics calling for justice for Trayvon and asking people to wear hoodies in his memory and tweeting with the hastag #HoodiesForTrayvon or #MillionHoodies.
Entertainers, athletes and even members of Congress have all joined in the so-called million hoodies march. –danielle canada