“Make me wanna holla the way they do my life! This ain’t livin’, This ain’t livin’”
Marvin Gaye- “Inner City Blues” 1971
Over the last two weeks my heart goes out to the family of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old teenager that was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch patrolman who was on duty at the Retreat at Twin Lakes, a gated living community in Sanford, Florida. Martin was on his way home from the 7-Eleven during halftime of this year’s 2012 NBA All Star Game when Zimmerman called the Sanford Police Department on February 26th to report someone suspicious walking back to the neighborhood.
Zimmerman told police dispatchers: “Something’s wrong with him. Yep. He’s coming to check me out.” He later adds, “he’s got something in his hands. I don’t know what his deal is. Send officers over here.” Trayvon then noticed the Zimmerman and began to run. Then Zimmerman told the dispatcher he was following him and authorities told him, “We don’t need you to do that.”
Immediately afterward, residents of Retreat at Twin Lakes began calling 911 to report a fight, then followed by a gunshot. When police arrived minutes later, Trayvon was dead. Police found him carrying a bag of Skittles and an iced tea that he had purchased at a nearby 7-Eleven convenience store while headed back to his father’s fiancee’s home.
As the dust is finally about to settle on this deadly and horrible shooting, we now find out that George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old patrolman that admitted to shooting the unarmed Miami Gardens teen, as had a habitual habit of calling police authorities over the last year. In fact, according to representatives of the Sanford Police Department, “Zimmerman called our police department 46 times since January 1st, 2011.” According to authorities Zimmerman called about windows being open and to report other disturbances.
As of late Monday the United States Justice Department is about to investigate and open a federal civil rights probe into Trayvon’s death. Also Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger will being their investigation immediately and grand jurors will meet on April 10.
What shocks me about this whole case is a couple of issues that have to relate to both race and incompetency.
First, you have a special patrol neighborhood watch volunteer who drives around with a .9 millimeter gun with the mind-state of Barney Fife meets David Duke. George Zimmerman was a guy that over a period of time made rush accusations about residents and visitors over the last couple of years. Him having the power to even carry a registered concealed weapon such as Zimmerman’s was major error of judgement as well as not suitable for this kind of residential environment. If you didn’t know, the State of Florida is the first state in the country to pass the “Stand Your Ground” law which allows residents the right to confront and pursue criminals or someone who’s attacked them. By law, any person can carry a concealed weapon anywhere in Florida. The fact Zimmerman used this kind of excessive force on a 17-year-old kid and point blank shot him in the chest was over the line. Also how the Sanford Police Department has openly acknowledged patrolman Zimmerman’s actions and have cleared him of his behavior and support how he handled the incident.
I think Zimmerman and the Sanford Police Department are sending a blatant message to the country that racial profiling is acceptable. It also validates that racism is very much alive and kicking in the United States. The Sanford Police Department released the 911 phone call of patrolman Zimmerman at 7:09pm speaking to the dispatcher describing Trayvon as he’s about to approach him:
Dispatcher: “Do you need police, fire or medical?”
Zimmerman: “We had some break-ins in our neighborhood … and there is a real suspicious guy. … This guy looks like he’s up to no good, he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining, and he’s walking around looking about. “
Dispatcher: “Is this guy white, black, Hispanic?”
Zimmerman: “He looks black.”
Dispatcher: “Did you see what he’s wearing?”
Zimmerman: “A dark hoodie, grey hoodie, jeans or sweatpants or white shoes. He’s walking around staring at the houses. Now he’s just staring at me.”
Zimmerman: “He’s near the clubhouse right now. Now he’s coming towards me. He has his hands in his waistband. He is a black male. Something’s wrong with him. Yep. He’s coming to check me out. He’s got something in his hands. I don’t know what his deal is. Send officers over here.”
Dispatcher: “Let me know if he does anything else.”
Zimmerman: “These a**holes, they always get away. When you come in go straight to the left … when you pass the clubhouse …”
Zimmerman: “Go straight in. Oh, s***. He’s running … down towards the other entrance of neighborhood.”
Dispatcher: “He’s running? Which way is he running?”
Zimmerman: “Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.”
Dispatcher: “Which entrance is that, that he is running towards?
Zimmerman: “The back entrance.”
Dispatcher: “Are you following him?”
Dispatcher: “OK. We don’t need you to do that. What’s your name?”
Zimmerman: “George. Zimmerman.”
Dispatcher: “Do you want to meet with the officer …”
Zimmerman: “Tell them to come past the clubhouse and make a left then past mailboxes and they will see my truck …”
Dispatcher: “What’s your apartment number?”
Zimmerman: “It’s a home. … I don’t want to give that out. I don’t know who this kid is.”
Dispatcher: “I will let them know where to meet you.”
Zimmerman: “Have them call me, and I will let you know where I’m at.”
From reading the transcript, Zimmerman uses racists language as well as has a tinge if hate in his tone toward’s Trayvon Martin. The police allows this kind of language from a volunteer patrolman and thinks his actions justify what he’s done! I find that the person who described Trayvon as suspicious, was minority himself. Zimmerman is of hispanic descent, yet, has the audacity to profile someone on the content of their skin color!
This brings me to my last point. How do you define someone being suspicious? Why in 2012 people of color are always “suspicious?” Trayvon’s murder reminds me a lot Amadou Diallo, Rodney King, Sean Bell, Rayshawn Moreno, and the legendary Marquete Frey whose legendary police beat-down started the 1965 Watts riots. The police have this mind-state that blacks are always ‘suspicious!’ The names I just mentioned are enough to validate the racist and unethical state of how some law enforcement agencies address people of color. I’m saddened to read and still have to look over my back as a black man still trying to live a decent and honest life. The murder of Trayvon has kept blacks and other minorities on alert on how the police now handle youth.Civil rights laws have been made to protect teens and minorities from crimes like this but the country and our powers that be continue to shield and protect the wrong and the sinister. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law proves my point to the extent that it allowed George Zimmerman to walk scout free! Under this law the Sanford Police Department ruled in his Zimmerman’s favor and allowed the law to protect him yet sent an innocent teen to the grave. Their needs to be a set of laws created for people of color and minorities that protect the human and civil rights against profiling and more investigations for police departments that cover the actions of a George Zimmerman.
The great Muhammad Ali said, “I know I got it made while the masses of black people are catchin’ hell, but as long as they ain’t free, I ain’t free.” Like so many blacks like Trayvon and the tens of millions of other minorities in the country, racism and profiling is still roaring its ugly head and we still have a ways to go to be free in this country!
The Revolution Will Be Televised,
The Pace Report