PLEASE READ MY NEW POST HERE:
By now, the entire world knows who Trayvon Martin is — the unarmed 17-year-old African-American lad shot dead in his tracks by an overzealous Neighborhood Watch captain, George “Triggerman” Zimmerman, on February 26 in Sanford, Florida. Before delving too deeply into this tragedy, just what is Neighborhood Watch, and who (or what) gives people the right to shoot anyone?
Actually, the National Neighborhood Watch Institute has no authority or control over anything. According to the NNWI Website, it “was formed to supply law enforcement agencies and individual’s [sic] better tools for their crime prevention dollar.”
Basically, NNWI sells the materials, including signs and manuals, necessary for police departments to train people like “Triggerman” Zimmerman. In my opinion, whatever the police department was that trained him, they did a remarkably lousy job. While the NNWI strives to “provide excellent educational materials and products that build observation and reporting skills,” somewhere along the line, all of Zimmerman’s training went out the window with one squeeze of the trigger. Not only did the system fail him, he failed the system dreadfully.
The location of the shooting was inside the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes. Zimmerman lives in that community and he’s the self-appointed Neighborhood Watch captain. Apparently, he called 911 at least 47 times between August 12, 2004 and Feb. 26 of this year. Most of the calls started the same way about suspicious persons, “We’ve had a lot of break-ins in our neighborhood recently and I’m on the Neighborhood Watch.”
How revealing it is that most of those suspicious characters were black, yet this shooting is not supposed to be about racial profiling? Give me a break.
I went to the scene on March 21 and spoke to several people. I took photos of the spot where Trayvon died, and I laid it all out in the pictures displayed below to give you a good idea of what went down that tragic Sunday evening.
CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE
This map shows the route Trayvon Martin took when he returned.
Visiting from Miami, Trayvon walked to a nearby 7-Eleven, but when I say nearby, it was about a 2-mile hike. I’m sure, like other boys his age, he got restless inside his father’s girlfriend’s house and needed to get out to do what 17-year-olds do; they text and talk on their phones. That’s not all. He wanted to buy something for his soon-to-be stepbrother, so when he got to the store, he bought a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea, turned around and headed back. Very suspicious, huh?
Almost immediately after Trayvon returned to the gated community, Zimmerman began to slowly tail him in his pickup truck. It’s as if he were lying in wait… lurking… ready to pounce at any moment. He dialed 9-1-1 to, once again, report a suspicious character, whose crime thus far was merely being black. When Trayvon put his hoodie up to keep the falling rain off his head, he suddenly morphed into a black thug. You see? This is racial profiling, plain and simple.
Zimmerman has a concealed weapons permit and was carrying a Kel Tek 9mm PF9 semi-automatic handgun. Why, in God’s name, anyone like him needs to carry a gun in his capacity as a nobody with no authority whatsoever is beyond me. Today, he is a murderer in my book.
In recorded 911 calls, Zimmerman acknowledged that he was following a suspicious person. At some juncture, he parked his truck and began pursuing Trayvon on foot. In his subsequent statements to police, he claimed that Trayvon attacked him and he shot the teenager in self-defense, but here’s where his story falls apart. (Continued below the photos)
This is the path Trayvon took, looking south. Scott is on the left. Both are from a Japanese media organization. Facing me is the direction Trayvon took. Zimmerman parked his truck somewhere near the red car and pursued on foot.
This is the spot where Trayvon died, just to the left of the small tree.
Trayvon never left the sidewalk. He followed the path to where he was staying. As he approached his destination, the sidewalk went from being parallel to the street to winding around the side and backside of two rows of townhouses. In order to continue following his prey, Zimmerman had to get out of his pickup to pursue him. He had to run, too, which is clearly evident on one of the 911 recordings, where he acknowledges to the dispatcher that he is running after him. The dispatcher tells him not to do that, to which Zimmerman says “OK” yet ignores the request. Incidentally, dispatchers have no authority. They are civilians and all they can do is offer advice.
This is the scene looking south. The shooting took place on the sidewalk to the left.
This is what Trayvon last saw as he tried to make it back to safety, although it was dark.
From what I was told near the scene, Zimmerman raced in front of Trayvon and swung around abruptly to face him. Both stopped in their tracks. Trayvon was on the phone with his girlfriend at that moment. Bear in mind that Zimmerman weighed about 100 lbs. more than Trayvon. Trayvon asked Zimmerman why he was following him and Zimmerman demanded to know why he was there.
STOP! BACK UP!
Here’s where it gets tricky. If a nutbasket like Zimmerman came up to me, I’d want to know who gave him the authority to question who I am and why I’m anywhere. I’d ask him if he were a cop. No? Then get out of my face. It’s none of his business. That’s a natural reaction. Someone pushed first. It doesn’t matter who, because, in no time at all, a senseless vigilante pulled out his weapon and shot an innocent person dead on the spot. He shot him point blank in the chest. I’ve heard rumors he did it while the teenager was lying on the ground, on his back, but I haven’t heard anything official yet.
One of the people I spoke to was Sly, who lives nearby, but not inside The Retreat. He said that, obviously, Zimmerman knew all about the Stand Your Ground law, where you shoot to kill and claim self-defense. Without a witness, who’s there to contest it? Because of that law, the Sanford Police Department chose to not arrest Zimmerman, but my big question to them is quite simple — has there ever been an incident anywhere in the world where a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea was used to threaten someone or cause death or great bodily harm?
I didn’t think so.
Trayvon was on his cell phone talking to his 16-year-old girlfriend within minutes of his death. He told her he was being followed. She told him to run. He told her he’d walk a little faster, but he wasn’t going to run. Trayvon had no idea who this dude was or what he wanted. When he walked around the corner of a building, Zimmerman zipped on by and swung around.
“What are you following me for?” Trayvon asked.
“What are you doing around here?” Zimmerman demanded.
Trayvon must have been pushed, his girlfriend assumed, because his headset fell to the ground and the phone went dead. Who pushed who first doesn’t matter. This is clearly the case of a cop wannabe. Zimmerman took the law into his own hands, as if he had the power of a real law enforcement officer. This was his goal in life — to be a cop. In one loud pop, that dream went down the drain as blood flowed from Trayvon’s chest. Trayvon’s own dreams faded into oblivion in a matter of seconds.
There’s a good reason why Zimmerman never became a police officer. What’s sad is that no one looked at him intently enough to know he was a threat to everyone’s safety; a guy who took his self-proclaimed title as captain of the neighborhood too seriously. Today, he’s nothing more than a cold-blooded murderer. He alone provoked the incident. Would someone please tell the Sanford Police Department that you cannot be the instigator and then claim Stand Your Ground self-defense?
Incidentally, police confiscated Zimmerman’s gun. He says he needs to buy a replacement to keep up his work as a Neighborhood Watch captain. Would someone please tell me this is not an insane world?
Tonight, I will try my best to join thousands of others in the National Rally for Justice on behalf of Trayvon Martin.