Florida Family Seeks Justice After Unarmed Teen Shot by Neighborhood Watch Captain
The family of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is demanding answers after police have yet to release 911 tapes or make an arrest nearly one month after the unarmed African-American teenager was shot and killed by a white neighborhood watch captain in a gated Florida community.
Trayvon Martin was visiting his father, Tracy, who lives in a gated community in the Orlando suburb of Sanford, during NBA All Star Weekend. On Feb. 26, Martin went out to buy snacks during the game and was on his way back from a local convenience store, carrying only Skittles and an iced tea, when he was spotted by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman, a 26-year-old captain of the neighborhood watch, called the police to report a suspicious person in the area.
According to the Martin family lawyer, Ben Crump, police told Zimmerman they would be there shortly and advised him to stand down, advice which he disregarded. Instead Zimmerman, whom Crump referred to as a "loose cannon," confronted the teen on the sidewalk near his father's home.
A police report indicated that Zimmerman, who was armed with a handgun, was found bleeding from the nose and the back of the head, standing over Martin, who was unresponsive after being shot. According to the report, an officer at the scene overheard Zimmerman saying, "I was yelling for someone to help me but no one would help me."
Despite his admission that he shot Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman was not arrested by police, only taken in for questioning, a move that has Martin's family infuriated. Further investigation by Crump revealed a past history of violence by Zimmerman, who was arrested in 2005 for resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.
Tracy Martin described his son, who loved sports and dreamed of being an aviation mechanic, as "a real mild-mannered young man," who "never got in trouble, never had any trouble with the law." The family is calling for Zimmerman's arrest so that, in Tracy Martin's words, "Justice can be served."
"If Trayvon Martin had been the trigger man, he would have been arrested," said his father.
Local police declined to comment on the case at this time although they did provide ABC News with a copy of the police report. The 911 tapes, say police, will be released next week.