I am ashamed of the mainstream media coverage of the shooting of Trayvon Martin. This morning, CBS News is running a headlining story from an anonymous source who worked with George Zimmerman in 2005 who is describing Zimmerman in less than flattering terms. CNN, NBC and ABC have all, in my opinion, fanned the flames of race and have played into a national discussion that is, quite frankly, disgusting. I am now pulling news regarding Trayvon’s shooting from the United Kingdom. I figure that the coverage from England is probably less biased than what is presented here in the United States.
A man who says he saw Trayvon Martinshot dead claims that the Floridateenager and his killer, George Zimmerman, were scuffling on the ground at the time with one on top of the other. The first eyewitness account of the 17-year-old’s final moments emerged on Thursday night more than a month after the boy lost his life in an altercation with a neighbourhood watch leader in a gated community in Sanford. The anonymous man said he reported to police details of what he saw on the evening of 26 February, which included watching the gunman walking away from the fight apparently uninjured.
It contradicts an allegation from Zimmerman’s father earlier in the day that the unarmed black teenager broke his son’s nose during the incident and also left him with bloody injuries from slamming the man’s head repeatedly on to a concrete pavement. The eyewitness says he saw no blood and that the entire confrontation took place only on grass. “I saw two men on the ground, one on top of the other. I felt they were scuffling and I heard gunshots which to me were more like pops,” he said in an interview broadcast on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, his voice disguised to protect his identity. “I don’t know if was an echo but it definitely made more than one pop. “After the larger man got off there was a boy, obviously now dead, on the ground facing down. “It was dark. I can’t say I watched him get up, but in a couple of seconds or so he was walking towards where I was watching and I could see him a little bit clearer. It was a Hispanic man. He didn’t appear hurt or anything else. He just kind of seemed very worried with his hand up to his forehead.”
The man said that before opening his window and looking out, he had heard angry voices outside. “There was a loud, predominant voice. I couldn’t hear the words but this is not a regular conversation,” he said. “This is someone aggressively yelling at someone.” He said there was a lull but the argument resumed and that was when he decided to see what was going on. “I’m thinking something horrible is happening. I heard the yell for help and another excruciating kind of a yell, it didn’t even sound like a yell, it sounded so painful,” he said.
The Sanford police department, which has been criticised for not arresting Zimmerman, 28, would not confirm the witness’s account, referring questions to the office of the Florida state attorney Angela Corey, who was appointed last week to oversee the case. Nobody was available at Corey’s office to comment. But Daryl Parks, attorney for Trayvon’s parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, said the story “answers a lot of questions”. He said: “It is very clear this witness saw what happened and clearly indicated the person that he saw that did the shooting. The other part that really strikes out for me is that he seems to have not seen the apparent injuries from this altercation that Mr Zimmerman claims that he suffered. “It seems clear that Zimmerman’s statement about Trayvon following him back to the truck is totally untrue because from this witness’s statement all the interaction happened in one particular area, so I think Mr Zimmerman will be arrested very soon.”
CCTV video which shows Zimmerman hours after the teenager’s death has also cast doubt on his claims that he was injured in a vicious fight with the victim. Earlier reports had suggested Trayvon attacked Zimmerman first, with the bloodied gunman pulling the trigger in self-defence. But in the footage, first aired by ABC news, Zimmerman’s head and face are clearly visible and there appears to be no sign of any wounds. There are no obvious indications of blood on the front of his T-shirt that could indicate evidence of a broken nose.
The father of the man who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin says his son was attacked and threatened before opening fire. Speaking to local TV, Robert Zimmerman said Martin broke his son’s nose and cut the back of his head. Recently released police security video shows George Zimmerman shortly after the shooting – without any injuries on his head or face visible on camera. Mr Zimmerman, who says he acted in self-defence, has not been charged. “It’s my understanding that Trayvon Martin got on top of him and just started beating him,” Robert Zimmerman said, adding that Martin asked his son “Do you have a [expletive] problem?”
When asked about why Martin’s girlfriend had said she was on the phone with him in the moments before he was shot, the elder Zimmerman said he did not believe that had happened. Rallies calling for Mr Zimmerman’s arrest and prosecution have been held in New York, Washington and in Sanford, Florida, where the shooting occurred on 26 February. The racially charged case has generated significant public anger and grabbed national headlines. Robert Zimmerman’s account of the incident closely matches what George Zimmerman told Sanford police after the crime occurred, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
One witness said that the cries for help heard on a 911 emergency came from George Zimmerman – not Trayvon Martin. His father agreed: “All of our family, everyone who knows George, knows absolutely that is George screaming. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind.” Orlando police did not dispute the version of events reported by the Sentinel, and Sanford’s city manager said he would pursue whoever was responsible for a presumed leak. Martin was carrying a bag of sweets and a can of iced tea when he was approached by Mr Zimmerman as he walked back to his father’s fiance’s house.
Mr Zimmerman, a neighbourhood watch volunteer, had told a police dispatcher he thought Martin, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, looked suspicious and said he had decided to follow the teenager. A grand jury is considering whether to charge Mr Zimmerman and will hear evidence in the case on 10 April. The Department of Justice and the FBI are also conducting civil rights investigations into the police handling of the case. This journalist trusts the grand jury process. Trying this case in public and by the lynch mob mentality displayed by talking heads, right wing fanatics and the likes of Al Sharpton will not solve anything.
As I have suggested before, the shooting death of this young man is tragic and must be investigated, thoroughly, by the authorities. If indictments are handed down, so be it, let the case proceed to court and through our channels of justice. If not, then it’s time to move on to an equally important discussion, in my opinion, and that is allowing people to use firearms to shoot and kill others under legal guidelines established by laws like the one in Florida called “Stand Your Ground.” I have a problem with people taking the law into their own hands but lets be sure that is what happened here. Lets be 100% sure that this is what happened and not rush to judgement. I implore my readers to drown out the noise from the mouths on both sides of this emotional and volatile issue and wait for the truth.