More Local Action Toward Justice for Trayvon Martin

The perplexing “missteps” by the Sanford police in the handling of the Trayvon Martin killing are adding up at an alarming rate. We recall that a narcotics detective, and not a homicide detective, was first to assess the scene and engage Zimmerman, or that the lead investigator, Chris Serino, had called for the arrest of George Zimmerman, but was overturned by the state Attorney’s Office claiming there was not enough evidence.

Sanford mayor, Jeff Triplett, against the urgings of his own police and local prosecutors, decided to release the 911 phone call tapes. Until now it was not known that the Sanford police dept. had advised the mayor in this regard.

Additionally, recently release video of George Zimmerman in temporary custody at the Sanford police headquarters 35 mins. after the shooting appears to challenge the veracity of his, and his family’s, claim that he was brutally assaulted by Trayvon Martin. On the video Zimmerman appeared to have no contusions or lacerations on the back of his head or to his nose, nor was there any observable blood stains on his clothing. Zimmerman has claimed that his nose was broken during a scuffle with Martin, and medical experts assert that a broken nose in this instance would have produce significant bleeding. Law enforcement expert, Lou Palumbo, after viewing the video noted that Zimmeran appeared “fully ambulatory.”

New witnesses continue to emerge with detailed accounts that also dispute Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense. One witness who wished to remain unidentified placed Zimmerman as situated on top of Trayvon.

…The larger man got off, then there was a boy that was now dead on the ground … He [Zimmerman] didn’t appear hurt…

Richard Kurtz, the funeral director who prepared the body of Trayvon, stated that he saw no irregularities to Trayvon’s body that would be consistent with the account of a physical struggle the likes of which Zimmerman testified to. Zimmerman’s “story just does not make sense,” said Kurtz.

Arguably the most crucial component to the entire case is a Sanford law which, according to Ken Padowitz, a former homicide prosecutor, states that because Zimmerman was handcuffed and taken to the police station by default means that he actually was officially under arrest, but was apparently never booked.

Somebody at that police department made a decision to not go through normal procedure.

Under Florida’s codes of criminal procedure unless George Zimmerman is charged within a 175 days of this apparent arrest he can never be charged for the murder of Trayvon Martin.

The clock of justice is ticking… literally.

Below is a list of local actions taking place in support of justice for Trayvon and his family:

  • April 3rd — This Tuesday Rhode Island College’s Unity Center is holding a campus and community forum from 4-6pm. All are welcome.
  • April 8th — This coming Sunday at 6pm the Providence Africana Reading Collective (PARC) will reconvene to focused on isolating our actionable interest in the TRAYVON MARTIN case. PARC meets a Tea in Sahara which is located on 69 Governor St. All community members are encouraged to come.
  • April 11th —  Roots Café is hosting a community forum and action planning session on justice for Trayvon Martin and his family. Key community leaders will be in attendance. Additionally, Roots Café is hoping to have a representative from the RI State Attorney’s office to provide a brief contextual description of Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. Roots Café invites you to join your voice and action oriented ideas with other community members in a push for justice.
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Marco A. McWilliams is the founding director of the Black Studies program at DARE and a Stephen G. Cary Fellow with the American Friends Service Committee. // Twitter: @black_studies

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