On February 26, during halftime of the NBA All-Star Game, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin walked to buy Skittles and iced tea from 7-Eleven in Sanford, Florida. On his way back to his father’s house in a gated community, Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain who had just called 911 to report Martin as “a real suspicious guy.” Zimmerman, a 28-year-old Latino man, claimed self-defense and has not been arrested or charged, but now finds himself at the center of a prickly national conversation about race, guns, and more. What started as a local news story has, thanks in large part to Internet outrage, become an unavoidable, albeit unresolved, story covered everywhere from leftist blogs to CNN and the New York Times. Over the weekend, police released eight 911 calls related to the case, sparking a new round of press attention. In the recordings, Zimmerman, who called the police nearly 50 times in the last year, can be heard saying, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something.” Martin, he said, had “his hand in his waistband.
And he’s a black male … Something’s wrong with him. Yup, he’s coming to check me out. He’s got something in his hands. I don’t know what his deal is.” He added, “These assholes, they always get away.” The dispatcher tells Zimmerman not to follow Martin, but in subsequent calls from neighbors, a struggle can be heard, followed by a gunshot. Mother Jones has a very detailed rundown of the case, and the tangential issues it raises, including, but not limited to, Florida’s self-defense laws, the checkered past of the Sanford police, gun control, and potential federal government involvement. A petition from Martin’s family to the local D.A. has been signed online more than 400,000 times, and received a huge boost this past weekend as the media homed in on the disturbing details. The New York Times reported on the story for two straight days in its national news section, in addition to a Saturday column by Charles Blow. “This case has reignited a furor about vigilante justice, racial-profiling and equitable treatment under the law,” Blow wrote, “and it has stirred the pot of racial strife.” President Obama addressed the case by saying, “If I had a son, He’d look like Trayvon.” I can’t even express how much this saddens me. I hope and pray that this boys parents get justice and they put this man away for life. But, the sad thing is, no amount of jail time will bring this innocent boy back. Will you wear a hoodie in honor of Trayvon? Email your pictures of you in a hoodie to ceo.cnikky.@gmail.com and I will post them..