Trayvon Martin’s family held a presser this morning to ask a very compelling question: why hasn’t George Zimmerman been arrested?
Zimmerman, a neighborhood-watch captain, has been free since shooting the 17-year-old Martin to death on February 26, after the teenager went out to a local store in suburban Orlando to get some Skittles and a beverage – and ended up shot in the chest and killed.
Zimmerman had a physical confrontation with Martin, who reportedly weighed approximately 140 pounds, and later shot him what he claims is self-defense. (And Ta-Nehisi Coates noted that Florida’s self-defense laws are quite open to interpretation.)
A witness says that the claim of self-defense is bunk:
“I heard someone crying – not boo-hoo crying, but scared or terrified or hurt maybe,” said Mary Cutcher, 31. “To me, it was a child…”
“This was not self defense…We heard no fighting, no wrestling, no punching. We heard a boy crying. As soon as the shot went off, it stopped, which tells me it was the child crying. If it had been Zimmerman crying, it wouldn’t have stopped. If you’re hurting, you’re hurting.”
As the police continue an investigation which they claim is still ongoing, the NAACP and other civil-rights leaders are requesting federal oversight. A leader of a Black militia group claims they will try a citizen’s arrest. Change.org is circulating a petition calling for Zimmerman’s arrest.
This morning, Trayvon’s mother also asked why Zimmerman remains out of police custody, and his father claimed the family has been “betrayed” by the Sanford, Florida police:
“It’s a shame that he’s not getting any justice,” the elder Martin said. “We’re not, as a family, getting any closure.”
Zimmerman’s father is also speaking up, claiming that the media is portraying his son, who is Latino, as racist. Fair enough, but then with all due respect, it is very curious why Zimmerman felt Trayvon, walking alone with Skittles and a soft drink in his family’s own neighborhood, was a threat.