Another Follow Up of the Day: On Friday, police in Sanford, Florida, finally released the 911 tapes from the night of Trayvon Martin’s shooting death at hands of self-appointed neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman.
Several people, including Zimmerman, called 911 on February 26th, to inform police of suspicious activity taking place in the Retreat at Twin Lakes neighborhood.
In the first tape, Zimmerman can be heard telling a dispatcher that he was pursuing “a real suspicious guy” who looked like he was “up to no good.” It was later determined that Martin, an African-American teenager from Miami Gardens, was walking back to his father and stepmother’s house after picking up a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea at a convenience store.
Zimmerman is clearly heard being told by the dispatcher not to continue his pursuit of Martin. After complaining that “these a**holes always get away,” Zimmerman choose to press on.
The first of seven subsequent 911 calls contains audio believed to be of the altercation which ensued between Zimmerman and Martin. A person, alleged to be Martin, can be heard screaming for help before a single shot is fired.
Zimmerman later told police he was the one calling for help. An attorney for Matrin’s family, Natalie Jackson, says the cries belong to “a 17-year-old boy begging for his life.”
Both Jackson and the family’s other attorney, Ben Crump, say the 911 calls offer enough evidence to at least prove Zimmerman wasn’t acting in self-defense as he claims.
Retreat residents described Zimmerman as a dedicated watch program volunteer who had successfully thwarted several crimes in the past, but was also known to profile young black men and make frequent calls to 911 to report incidents and suspicions.
Sanford’s mayor, Jeff Triplett, has called on the Department of Justice to conduct an independent review of the police investigation. Earlier last week, Sanford PD chief Bill Lee reaffirm in his conviction that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to arrest Zimmerman.
Since the investigation began, allegations of police misconduct have emerged, including the “twisting” of eyewitness accounts to fit Zimmerman’s story, and the lack of testing for state-of-mind-altering substances.
According to The Miami Herald, Zimmerman has gone into hiding, disconnecting all his phone numbers and moving out of his last known address.
[myfoxorlando / miamiherald / huffpo.]