The furor surrounding the slaying of 17-year old Trayvon Martin in a gated Florida suburb shows no signs of calming down any time soon. Many high profile media personalities have voiced outrage over the case and have called for the arrest of Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman. The latest voice to join the cry is Rev. Al Sharpton, who announced that he will travel to the town of Sanford this week to stage a rally for the Martin family.
Sharpton announced his intentions to head south via his Facebook and Twitter accounts, stating he will arrive in Sanford this Thursday (March 22nd) and hold a rally at the First Shiloh Baptist Church in Sanford at 7:00p.m. The founder of the National Action Network is the latest to throw support behind the Martin family after the tragic loss of the teenager at the hands of 28-year-old Zimmerman.
Last month during NBA All-Star weekend in Orlando, Trayvon was visiting his family in Sanford, just 20 miles north from where the star-studded event was taking place. Trayvon and his 13-year old brother Chad were watching the All-Star game when during a break, Trayvon decided to head to a nearby store to grab snacks. Returning home, Trayvon was confronted by Zimmerman, captain of the Retreat at Twin Lakes community Neighborhood Watch program. After a 911 call made to Sanford police reporting a suspicious male walking around, Trayvon was found shot dead near his father’s home by authorities.
After some pushback from the Sanford police chief to release audio of the 911 call, tapes were released last Friday and revealed that Zimmerman was tailing Trayvon in the neighborhood before making the call. After being warned off by dispatchers to discontinue following the youth, the audio revealed a screaming woman asking for help later followed by two loud bangs. In another call, Zimmerman can be heard saying “looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something.”
Zimmerman then follows up by saying “These a**holes, they always get away.”
Attorneys for the Martin family maintain that the bangs were the gunshots that led to the death of Trayvon. Attorney Ben Crump has characterized Zimmerman as a “loose cannon” and says the Martin family is grieving after the release of the 911 audio. “They are overwhelmed by grief at what they heard this evening,” Crump said to the press. “The last seconds of his life were in absolute fear.”
Crump has been vocal in expressing the Martin family’s desire to see George Zimmerman charged with a crime. Thus far, authorities have not levied any charges against Zimmerman and Sanford’s police chief seemingly wants the issue to just go away, hoping that the release of the tapes would “slow down” all of the media attention. “The hysteria, the media circus, it’s just crazy,” Chief said. “It’s the craziest damn thing I’ve ever seen, and it’s sad.”
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Photo: Trayvon Martin