Florida protesters ramped up pressure on local officials Monday afternoon for an arrest in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Thousands streamed through the streets of Sanford on their way to a public hearing by the City Commission at the town’s Civic Center.
At the hearing, Tracy Martin, the slayed teen’s father, accused police of trying to “sweep another dead black male under the rug” and called for the arrest of Zimmerman, a Hispanic. “He needs to be put on trial. He needs to be given a sentence by a jury of his peers.”
February 26, George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watchman, shot and killed the 17-year-old African American walking through a gated community. Zimmerman has yet to be arrested in the case.
The police department, who has been widely criticized for the way it has been handling the investigation and lost a police chief over it, leaked details of Zimmerman’s account to the Orlando Sentinel.In Zimmerman’s version of events, Zimmerman reportedly said Trayvon approached him from behind while he was walking back to his SUV. According to the Sentinel report, he told police Trayvon then knocked him to the ground with a punch to the nose and slammed his head into the sidewalk a few times. Zimmerman claimed he shot him in self-defense.
Witnesses had also reported hearing someone cry out for help. In the Sentinel report, police sources said they had evidence to suggest it was Zimmerman.
Police confirmed the Orlando Sentinel in a statement saying, “consistent with the information provided to the State Attorney’s office by the police department.”