Killer of Florida teen was attacked first

2012-03-26 22:58

Sanford - A neighbourhood watch captain told police he fatally shot Trayvon Martin after the teenager punched him, knocked him down and slammed his head into the ground, the Orlando Sentinel reported on Monday.

At least one witness told police he saw Martin, 17, atop George Zimmerman, 28, and that Zimmerman was calling for help, the newspaper said, adding that other witnesses disputed who the cries were coming from.

ABC News quoted a police source as saying that Zimmerman, in a written statement, claimed that Martin tried to take his gun.

The Februry 26 killing of the black teenager as he walked through a gated community by Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, has triggered protests around the country and calls for Zimmerman's arrest.

Zimmerman had followed Martin and reported him to police before their deadly encounter. He said believed the young man in a "hoodie" hooded sweatshirt looked to be "up to no good".

Zimmerman's attorney has said he acted in self-defence. He has not been arrested and Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which broadened the legal definition of self-defence when it was passed in 2005, provides people with immunity from detention or arrest if they use deadly force in their own defence without clear evidence of malice.

Sanford police said they could neither confirm nor deny the Sentinel story about Zimmerman's account of the incident, which occurred as Martin returned from a convenience store carrying candy and a can of iced tea.

Florida law enforcement has been under fire for weeks as protests decrying inaction in the case have spread to cities across the country. Florida Governor Rick Scott on Monday cautioned against a rush to judgement and state authorities were still gathering facts.

"Justice will prevail," Scott said in an interview with Reuters Insider in New York. "That's what we all want. We want the... facts and we want to know that justice happens."

Stand Your Ground

Protesters, many dressed in hoodies like the kind Martin wore at the time of his death, point to a 911 call Zimmerman made before the altercation began.

Last Thursday, Scott said State Attorney Norman Wolfinger had agreed to remove himself from the investigation. Scott appointed another Florida prosecutor, Angela Corey, to handle the case. He also created a task force to study crime prevention and specifically the state's Stand Your Ground law.

Asked if the case rose to the level of a possible hate crime, Scott said such a judgement would be premature.

Corey called for patience on Monday as her team of investigators continues looking into Martin's killing.

"Justifiable use of deadly force has been asserted in this case, will continue to be asserted, which will make our job more difficult," Corey told CNN, referring to the Stand Your Ground law.

"However, we do believe when we're done with our investigation the family will know all of the facts and details, as will the public. But they must be patient and we ask for their indulgence."

Martin, a Miami high school student, was in Sanford, staying at the home of a friend of his father, because he had been suspended from school shortly before his death.

On Monday, a family spokesperson said the 10-day suspension came after school officials discovered marijuana residue in a plastic bag inside Martin's book bag.

"Regardless of Trayvon's suspension, it had nothing to do with what happened on February 26," Ryan Julison, the family spokesperson, told reporters.

Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, suggested in comments at a news conference that the marijuana residue report was aimed at smearing her dead child.

"They've killed my son and now they're trying to kill his reputation," she said.

  • Peter - 2012-03-27 07:12

    These young hoodlums terrorise everyone, and yet when one gets killed in self defense there is an outcry. Another opportunistic racial episode it seems. It sickens me how criminals are defended just because of the colour of their skins - the same people regularly kill white people and there is no outcry.

      kaMazibuko - 2012-03-27 10:01

      @peter u stupid fool, stop talking nonsense. This teen was from the shops and was carrying candy and soda, how did he terrorise this neighborhood watch man ? this man was told by police not to approach this young man and he did and now he claims he got beat up ?? BS!!! This racial profiling of suspected criminals must stop because it allows racist thugs like zimmerman to act out their racial hatred towards black people

      zaatheist - 2012-03-27 10:14

      @kaMazibuko These racist statements on News24 are pathetic, shameful and embarrassing. I doubt this Zimmerman story but lets see how it pans out.

      Vengence - 2012-03-27 10:47

      Peter, you need to understand what happened before you write such drivel. This incident is unjust. You clearly think it is okay for somone to stalk and shoot a teenager just because he doesn't like the look of the kid. You are a sad dude.

  • Squeegee - 2012-03-27 07:15

    OJ - He is black therefore he is innocent.

      Squeegee - 2012-03-27 11:21

      Troll, troll, go away...

  • Marina - 2012-03-27 08:13

    This planet is out of control in every aspect.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-03-27 10:24


  • Pur - 2012-03-27 08:43

    @ Peter & Squeegee This happened in Florida, America and not in Florida, Johannesburg. Why try and make it a big racial issue? In this case Black, White and Hispanic citizens are questioning their own State Laws concerning self-defence - which they have a right to do. Local residents of the gated community seem to believe that Trayvon Martin was generally a good kid. Zimmerman, the Watch Captain, called 911 and was told to keep away from Martin, and that the police would handle it. So why did he ignore that instruction and confront Trayvon? When the police came on the scene there were no witnesses, just Zimmerman and Martin. Zimmerman says he was attacked and Martin was already dead. This whole incident is a tragedy. @Peter: Martin never terrorised anybody, had no criminal record and there is no suggestion that he "regularly killed white people". That's all in your very sick mind. See a shrink. @Squeegee: Being Black, White, or any other colour is not a criteria for judging guilt or innocence. Only the evidence and testimony of witnesses to the individual's behaviour and actions. You two need to get a life.

      Pur - 2012-03-27 09:19

      I agree with you totally, Brian. As long as you are defending yourself against a real threat, and not an imaginary threat from someone of a different skin colour to yourself. To me the test has to be whether Zimmerman would have shot another white skinned Hispanic dressed the same way, and behaving the same way, as Trayvon Martin? If the answer is yes, then Zimmerman acted justly.

      Squeegee - 2012-03-27 09:37

      Pur, sorry if you have limited general knowledge. The reference to OJ has to do with what happened in the 90's when OJ Simpson murdered his wife. The whole black community (in the USA) saw him as innocent - just because he was a black celebrity. The same is happening again in the USA. The black community has already decided that the teenager was innocent - regardless of the facts.

      ludlowdj - 2012-03-27 10:05

      PUR try to keep up with the rest of the class! ONE, the Captain of the watch was HISPANIC not white......bang goes your race angle. TWO, clear evidence exists that Zimmerman was attacked and beaten. THREE, The american so called "stand your ground" law is internationally accepted as being part of the normal self defense clause. Any person who believes he or she is in imminent danger of being attacked may use whatever force is necessary to defend themselves even if such defense includes killing the attacker.

      zaatheist - 2012-03-27 10:16

      Once again the god believers are defending blatant racist comments.

      Pur - 2012-03-27 10:23

      @ Squeegee: I don't have limited general knowledge, and I do know that OJ Simpson was acquitted in the criminal trial which was not heard before a Black Judge. He was later found to be "Responsible for the Death of Nicole Simpson" in a civil suit and forced to pay damages. OJ Simpson is now in jail having been found guilty on other charges unrelated to the killing of his wife. "The whole black community" did NOT see him as innocent. That's a broad generalisation. In any event, OJ Simpson was the perpetrator in his case, while Trayvon Martin is the victim in this case. Florida citizens of ALL colours are questioning the "Stand your Ground" law, and Zimmerman's actions. This includes white politicians and legal people as well as the ordinary "man in the street". The kid was "armed" with a bag of Skittles, which are sweets (candy) and a plastic bottle of Iced Tea. If Zimmerman had done what he was instructed to do by the police 911 operator, then Martin would still be alive. If you just forget about colour and race for one moment, then it becomes pretty obvious that Zimmerman should be defending his actions in a court of law. I am not saying Zimmerman acted properly or improperly, but I am saying a Florida Judge and jury should make that decision, not a racist South African commenting on News 24. Got it?

      Squeegee - 2012-03-27 11:14

      Pur. Try to keep up with the news. Already the facts are indicating that he may not have been that innocent. I'm not judging, I'm also not racist. Merely commenting on a social phenomena of being PRE-judged innocent OR guilty by race; of people supporting your case merely on race. That's the whole point I'm making - let the facts speak before we all decide if he is guilty or not.

      piet.strydom - 2012-03-27 19:47

      @ludlowdj - Every point you make is WRONG! Zimmerman is of mixed white and Hispanic descent. There is absolutely no evidence that Zimmerman was attacked and beaten. TO the contrary, Zimmerman himself told 911 that he was following the kid, even after he was instructed not to do so. The only other "earness" was the kids girlfriend, who was on the phone with him at the time - she says that he was trying to get away from Zimmerman. And thirdly, there is a vast difference between the "stand your ground" law of Florida, and the internationally accepted "castle defense". Your description is the Florida law. The more widely accepted castle defence version says you are allowed to meet force with force in self-defence, but not excessively so. Not sure why a 25 year old "neighbourhood watch captain" needs a gun to defend himself against a skinny 17 year old skittle wielding teenager.

  • piet.strydom - 2012-03-27 09:22

    This was a kid that went down to the corner cafe to buy some sweets before a sports game. Before he got home, he was dead. Killed by somebody with a gun, when the kid was armed with a can of ice tea and a bag of Skittles. What was he going to do - stone Zimmerman with the Skittles? Zimmerman was clearly warned by 911 to stay away from the kid, and to wait until the police arrive. The police instructions clearly to neighbourhood watch organisations clearly state not to interfere, and to only alert the police. On the 911 call, the most threatening things Zimmerman reported was that he wore his hoody up (it was raining), and that he had his hands in his pocket. Zimmerman was clearly spoiling for a fight. Don't let your SOuth African white prejudices get the overhand in your judgement!!

      zaatheist - 2012-03-27 10:16

      Hear. Hear

  • ludlowdj - 2012-03-27 09:59

    I see the emotional it was a white racist attack mentality is still being used to fool the ignorant......naughty, naughty News 24, he is Hispanic, and therefor not a white by any stretch of the imagination. and obvious attempt to stir racial hatred. This story has been so misrepresented in the media and by those involved that it is a crime on its own.

      zaatheist - 2012-03-27 10:19

      It is not News24 but the commentators on this story who have dragged up the race card. Anyway, what is the difference between racism by "whites", racism by "hispanics" and racism by "blacks".

      Pur - 2012-03-27 11:03

      Ludlowdj, if you read paragraph 2 of the article it says "The Februry 26 killing of the black teenager as he walked through a gated community by Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, has triggered protests around the country..." By the way, if you read what I have said in each posting you will see that I was not the one who introduced race into this case, and I don't think race should be the factor at all. I merely asked one of the racists commentators if they would support Zimmerman if it was a white kid he had shot. As for Zimmerman's injuries, he could have easily shot the kid and then smashed his own gun onto his face, then maybe even fired a warning shot into the air. Who is to say differently? The only other person there is dead.

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