Trayvon Martin Case: Civil Rights Leaders Call For George Zimmerman Arrest

by at . Comments

The controversial and tragic case of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager shot to death by a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Fla., last month, continues to make headlines, with leaders calling for the arrest of the shooter, George Zimmerman.

At a town hall meeting Tuesday in Sanford, Fla., where the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Martin took place on February 26, officials from the NAACP, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Nation of Islam urged residents to remain calm.

At the same time, they demanded that George Zimmerman, be arrested.

Trayvon Martin Photo
George Zimmerman Mug Shot

Zimmerman (above, right) has not been charged with a crime in the shooting of Martin. He admitted that he shot Martin (above, left), who was returning to a gated community in the city after buying candy at a convenience store.

He says it was all in self-defense after Martin attacked him, however.

Police have said Zimmerman is white; his family says he is Hispanic.

The case has ignited a furor against the police department of this Orlando suburb of 53,500 people, prompting rallies and a protest in Gov. Rick Scott's office.

Social media has played a huge role in catapulting the incident to national prominence and prompting debate over gun laws, race relations and so much more.

"I stand here as a son, a father, and an uncle who is tired of being scared for our boys," said Benjamin Jealous, president of the NAACP. "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 Justice Department's Civil Rights Division said it is sending its community relations service this week to Sanford to "address tension in the community."

Earlier in the week, the federal agency opened a civil rights probe into the shooting, and in Florida, Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger said a grand jury will meet April 10 to consider evidence in the case.

When The Associated Press tried to reach the police department Tuesday evening for comment, a dispatcher told a reporter to call back in the morning.

Earlier Tuesday, an attorney for Martin's family revealed the teenager told his girlfriend just moments before he was killed that he was being followed.

"'Oh he's right behind me, he's right behind me again,'" 17-year-old Trayvon Martin told his girlfriend on his cellphone, attorney Benjamin Crump said.

The girl later heard Martin say, "Why are you following me?" Another man asked, "What are you doing around here?'" Crump recalled to reporters.

Crump said Martin cried out when a man bearing a 9mm handgun came at him.

Police said Zimmerman, who was found bleeding from his nose and the back of his head, told authorities he yelled out for help before shooting Martin.

"She absolutely blows Zimmerman's absurd self-defense claim out of the water," Crump said of Trayvon Martin's girlfriend, whose name was withheld.

Martin, in town from Miami to visit his father in Sanford, called his 16-year-old girlfriend in Miami several times, including just before the shooting.

The discovery of the lengthy conversations, including one moments before the shooting, was made by Martin's father, who checked his  cell phone log.

The teenager told the girl on his way back from the store he'd taken shelter from the rain briefly at an apartment building in his father's gated community.

Martin then told her he was being followed. "She says: 'Run.' He says, 'I'm not going to run, I'm just going to walk fast,'" Crump said, quoting the girl.

After Martin encountered Zimmerman, the girl thought she heard a scuffle "because his voice changes like something interrupted his speech," Crump said.

The phone call ended before the girl heard gunshots.

The last call was at 7:12 p.m. Police arrived at 7:17 p.m. to find Martin lying face down on the ground. Zimmerman was handcuffed by police.

He was then taken into custody for questioning, but was released by police without being charged. Police have interviewed Zimmerman twice since.

Crump called the treatment patently unfair and asked if Trayvon Martin would have received the same treatment if he had been the shooter.

"We will not rest until he is arrested. The more time that passes, the more likely this is going to be swept under the rug," Crump said.

Tags: , ,
Avatar

I am shocked by the crazy Klan comments. Well not that shocked I guess because I know that sheer stupidity definitely still exists. Zimmerman is obviouzly one of those crazy ass wanna be police officers who was fulfilling some kind of security function no one wants. Seen his type before. And really I dont go for the self defense bs no matter how the kid reacted. Zimmerman basically unlawfully stalked this young man and killed him when he reacted in fear. Zimmerman caused this tragic event and yes he should be jailed for this in the interest of public safety.

Avatar

Last Night Trayvon's parents were on the News. Though all of the grief that his parents have been dealing with, they continue to exhibited a quiet dignity and grace under what has got to be a horrific chapter in their lives. Trayvon's parents do Not display a militant mentality that could be confused with having a young child who would take it upon himself to challenge someone in position of authority. Considering the fact that Trayvon told his (girl)friend that he was being followed, shows a definite fear in this young teen. Whatever our *own conclusions are, Trayvon felt threatened and since he is the person who ended up in the morgue, his feelings were correct. Trayvon was Not traveling with a gang, he was walking home alone, and he deserved to be here today for his parents to look into his eyes knowing that they were raising a well adjusted young man,as all of us wish to be able to do with our own children. PEACE!!

Avatar

Zimmerman Followed Trayvon when Trayvon was on his way home. According to the girlfriend’s conversation with Trayvon. She said she told him to run and he said he was going to walk faster. She heard Trayvon asking Zimmerman why are you following me and then the struggle. Zimmerman’s actions are all unjustified for a neighborhood watchman’s procedure according to the neighborhood watch committee.
Is this racism? Is it profiling? Or just an overzealous neighborhood watchman? Either way there is enough evidence to arrest Zimmerman on probable cause. This would not take away his right to prove himself innocent in the court of law if in fact he was.

Avatar

Trayvon was a 17 year old child whom Zimmerman described as a suspect of a possible crime. Again taking matters in his own hands an act of overzealous person. He had no reasonable doubt to believe this child had any intent to commit a crime. All Zimmerman really seen was a 17 year old child walking in the rain on the way home from the store with skittles and on the phone. Zimmerman’s call to 911 was his suppose deceitful way of getting approval to pursuit his overzealous behavior. As Zimmerman described the situation he profiled Trayvon as a criminal. Zimmerman told the 911 operator he was tired of them getting away with it. Based on the calls and the reports Zimmerman had a weapon and Travyon did not.

Avatar

Isn't this about JUSTICE BEING SERVED about a child that could not defend himself from an adult that did not have to use a gun to so called defend himself. If Zimmerman wanted to defend himself if his life was really in jeopardy all he had to do was to use his hands. Did anyone look at the size difference between the 28 year old man and the 17 year old child!! Clearly this was about an overzealous neighborhood watchman that didn’t get the opportunity to fulfill his dream to be an officer. He took matters in his own hands and decided to abuse the system. As for arresting Zimmerman he was and he should have never been released. The evidence of Self defense from a 17 year old child with no weapon is clearly enough to hold him for probable cause. He should be seen as a possible suspect he followed a 17 year old child when he clearly was told not to follow him.

Avatar

We only get the one opportunity and you lost yours!!
To those of you whom have chosen to use to use this opportunity to be self centered and selfish to argue about racism. Did you ever think to look at the person that you are defending and arguing about? The Violence in his past and his failure to fulfill his career is a clear indication of an unhappy man. Call it overzealous call it racist seems to meet Zimmerman had no business being a part of the neighborhood watchman.
Zimmerman’s past has determined his Destiny!!If you create an act, you create a habit. If you create a habit, you create a character. If you create a character, you create a destiny.

Avatar

As a mother it sickens me to see the comments on this site!! People using a tragedy to exploit what they call wisdom, philosophy, and knowledge!! Which clearly all I can see is nothing but ignorance. This has nothing to do with racism nor is it about you; this is about a life that was taken to soon. He was a 17 year old child. I can never imagine what Trayvon’s family is feeling and pray I never do. Trayvon lost his life to young he will never get to become a man. He will never have a chance to have an opinion!! He will never get a chance to exercise his rights to use his freedom of speech. Yes you do have the right to speak freely, but can you for one moment set your opinions aside and imagine if it was your child how would you feel!!
As a mother I can tell you this your opinion whether right or wrong are heartless!!
To Trayvon family and friends I send my condolences!!
May justice be severed….

Avatar

@Reasonable Doubt.... welcome to america where everyone judges and jumps to conclusions. I personally own six guns myself, I can carry convealed. I am 125 lbs and 5'7. I got attacked by 1 white and 1 black man. I never used my gun. The point, how much of a threat is the skittle carrying young man? His fist would have been sufficient until the police arrived. Strip this all down to an unarmed man was killed

Avatar

ok let me get this straight, a young black boy, walking home, talking with his girlfriend, unarmed I may add, is followed, by Zimmerman, who is not in uniform, does not carry ID, follows this young man, after he was expressly told not to by the local cops. Without further ado, he speaks maybe half a dozen words to this young man, and then he decides to shot him, did he have a brain fart or what. Zimmerman is a danger to anyone who goes near him, gun happy, and full of himself, he should be in jail and facing death himself for killing an unarmed youth. Jeez lets get real people, this guy took the life of a child!!!!!!

Avatar

He followed trayvon around. How in the world is that self defense? if he was in his house minding his own business then he wouldnt have been threatened...by the way i so dont understand how a bag of skittles and a tea bottle is threatening his life. Anyways after the police told him not to follow the boy he still did he even got out the car if anything Trayvon was the one who was threatened not him..thats why i dont understand why people are saying self defense when he is the one that followed trayvon...this is just blowing me