Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Federal probe of Trayvon Martin's murder could reveal race factor

After a nationwide outcry, the U.S. justice department said Monday it would investigate the fatal shooting last month of Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in Florida. Can we get an amen?!

"The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation," the department said in a statement. "The department also is providing assistance to and cooperating with the state officials in their investigation into the incident."

Yesterday, state attorney Norman Wolfinger said his office would conduct its own investigation beginning April 10. The federal probe conducted by the FBI and justice department's civil rights division, seeks to focus on whether the shooter, George Zimmerman, violated 17-year-old Martin's civil rights by targeting him because of his race.

Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, was patrolling the streets of a gated community in Sanford, Florida, on Feb. 26 when he spotted Martin and told a police dispatcher that a "black male" was acting "suspicious." Zimmerman, 28, ignored a warning from the dispatcher not to pursue Martin, and a violent confrontation ensued, leaving Martin dead from a gunshot to the chest.

Zimmerman told police he acted in self defense but he has not been detained or charged, to the dismay of Martin's family and angered people across the country. Martin was simply walking back to his father's house where he was staying after buying Skittles and Arizona iced tea at a nearby store. Therefore, prosecutors need to show Zimmerman targeted Martin because of his race and his goal was to stop him from walking down the street, a basic civil right.

In the months prior to the shooting, Zimmerman called the police 46 times to report suspicious activity, and that the persons were black. The National Neighborhood Watch organization has said Zimmerman was not a member of any of their local groups. And, the Sanford Police Department has been criticized for failing to conduct a drug or alcohol test on Zimmerman, as is standard practice in homicide cases. And a witness has said a cop corrected her account that she heard Martin calling for help in the moments before he died.

This is a very bad situation that can only get worse if justice is not served. What do you think? Speak!

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