04-11: George Zimmerman has turned himself in to the authorities. Special prosecutor Angela Corey has announced she and her team will be seeking second-degree murder charges.
- 4-12: Court affidavit.
This has been quite the media storm in America for the past month, if not for the amount of twists, turns, and outright lies being put forth by various parties and the media during, then for the re-emergence of racism and racial bias in the public and media discourse. I've been following it myself for awhile casually on GAF, but the entire clusterfuck leaves me livid whenever I sit and think about it; it just boggles the mind how someone can admit to killing someone and be left to go scot-free. Again, this case has bloated into something utterly gigantic, much too big for one op, but I'll try to offer a brief and objective run-down for the uninitiated. Corrections, more pertinent information, and other links can be offered:
Trayvon Martin: 17-year old visiting his father and father's fiancée in Sanford. At his brother's request, he went to the store for candy and iced tea. On the way back, he became aware of being pursued by a man named George Zimmerman, and the ensuing confrontation left him fatally shot.
George Zimmerman: 28-year old community watch coordinator. He called 911 a few times in regards to Martin whom he viewed as suspicious. He followed Martin against the advice of the 911 operator, ultimately confronting and shooting him. He was treated for injuries and arraigned by police but released under the guise of self-defense. He has been in hiding since and has now reportedly disappeared today, although he allegedly called Fox News commentator Sean Hannity with information unbeknown to his lawyers before leaving.
Timeline of the Crime:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yv05_GYiHQInvestigation: Sanford Police arrived on the scene, examining Trayvon's body and treating Zimmerman for injuries. He was arraigned and questioned but ultimately let go as no contradictory evidence to his defense could be found. This reported lack of evidence has also prevented lead investigators and the State Attorney from filing charges. Public accusations of a cover-up have also been made, ranging from police pressuring witnesses, unnecessary drug testing of Martin, and ultimately to Zimmerman's father, who works in law, having influenced the lack of arrest. On March 20, the FBI and Justice department announced joint investigations. It remains to be seen if Zimmerman will be charged.
- Stand Your Ground Laws: Under these laws, a person may use self-defense, including deadly force, if they believe their life is in danger, and some cases allow people to claim legal immunity. These laws are commonly criticized as a way to shoot first and ask questions later, and Zimmerman's lack of arrest has brought these laws into question.
- Racism: Zimmerman is alleged to have racially profiled Martin before the confrontation; he's also been accused of profiling in the past, making several 911 calls about suspicious blacks over a few years. Debate has raged over whether or not one of his calls in regards to Martin contained the racial epithet "coon." This facet of the crime as well as the police's cover-up have ignited hoodie marches (in reference to Martin's wear), speeches and demonstrations, Black Panther and Neo Nazi activity, and general discontent over the disparity of legal justice attained by white and minority citizens.
- Media Bias: NBC was accused of editing one of Zimmerman's 911 calls to make it seem as if he assuredly profiled Martin; the director in charge of the segment has since been fired and an apology has been issued. Initial photos of Martin and Zimmerman initially leaked to the public have purportedly influenced feelings about the case overwhelmingly in Martin's favor; in contrast, photos of black teens displaying gold teeth and middle fingers were released and said to be Martin mainly by conservative outlets. These were ultimately proven false.
The Week's Timeline of the Controversy: http://theweek.com/a...case-a-timeline
Edited by Nepenthe, 12 April 2012 - 10:21 PM.