The Trayvon Martin Case: Facts You Need to Know

Posted on Mar 26, 2012 in Legislation, National Issues

Trayvon Martin, 17, on the left, and George Zimmerman, 28, on the right. Courtesy of TheBlaze.com

While there’s been a firestorm of controversy surrounding the Trayvon Martin case, which is obviously a tragedy, there’s a lot of misinformation and confusion on both sides.

In case you weren’t previously aware, the case revolves around a 17-year-old African-American boy named Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012. The shooter was George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old white Hispanic man. Zimmerman admits killing Martin, but claims he was acting in self-defense. Three weeks after Martin’s death, no arrests have been made and Zimmerman is free.

Here are some objective facts from the event, based on statements from witnesses and police records:

-Zimmerman was following Martin in a car after noticing his “suspicious” behavior. Martin was on foot.

-Zimmerman believed Martin was armed with a deadly weapon, when in fact Martin was carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea.

-Zimmerman was carrying a 9mm handgun, although Neighborhood Watch members are not allowed to be armed.

-Zimmerman pursued Martin even though the police dispatcher told him to stop:

Dispatcher: “Are you following him?”
Zimmerman: “Yeah”
Dispatcher: “OK, we don’t need you to do that.”

-According to the New York Times, Martin had no criminal record. Zimmerman was charged in July 2005 with resisting arrest with violence and battery on an officer. The charges were dropped.

-According to the Miami Herald, Zimmerman called the police 46 times since Jan. 1, 2011.

-Zimmerman was not tested for drug or alcohol intoxication by Sanford police after the shooting, although it is standard procedure to do so in these types of cases.

-Police say that there was a physical altercation that led up to the shooting, and that Zimmerman was attacked by Martin. When police arrived, Zimmerman has grass stains on his back as well as a bloodied head and nose.

What really happened on February 26th? A Florida Grand Jury will hear the case in a few weeks and make a decision about Zimmerman’s fate. Surely, these events will continue to receive national media attention.

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