If you have been listening to the media at all in the last month and a half, you likely have heard the tragic story of Trayvon Martin, a teen who’s face and story have been seen all over the press. Martin was an African American teen who was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida by his neighbor, George Zimmerman on February 26 of this year.
Martin was walking back from the convenient store when there was an altercation between him and Zimmerman. Zimmerman, who was a neighborhood watch volunteer, claims that he was beaten by Martin and shot him in self-defense. According to reports, he claimed to have had his head smashed against the ground and his nose broken by Martin. Others, however, are claiming that Zimmerman singled out Martin himself and was the initiator of the confrontation, raising issues of racial motives against him.
Although the evidence is still being sorted out concerning what happened on this night, certain facts are starting to come to light. Upon looking at videos of Zimmerman as he was brought in to the police station after the incident, viewers can see that while there are two small abrasions on the back of his head, they do not line up with being beaten into the ground. Also, there is no evidence of the broken nose he claimed to have suffered just hours earlier in the night, evidence which would definitely have appeared by then.
In addition to this, evidence of the phone call between Martin and his girlfriend moments before his death help tell us how things got started. Through the girlfriend’s statements of what happened and hearing what was said during the phone conversation, it seems that Zimmerman was in fact following Martin after he left the convenience store. Martin told his girlfriend, who is remaining anonymous, that someone was following him. She encouraged him to run away, something that he didn’t see as necessary at first but would later do. Zimmerman caught up with him, however, and his girlfriend heard pushing through her end of the phone. After that the line went dead.
As of right now, the police have not arrested Zimmerman. Public outrage, however, has prompted the Justice Department to intervene in the investigation. Hopefully they will bring light to what exactly happened on this night and deliver justice. My heart goes out to the Martin family and hope that their questions of what happened will finally be answered.