Shelby: Hundreds of students and supporters are rallying in Florida to demand justice for 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. They are calling for the arrest of this man: Twenty-eight-year-old George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon on February 26th.
“I would like to see an arrest. I would like to see this man brought to justice.”
Shelby: Police say they have not arrested Zimmerman because he says that he shot Trayvon in self defense. But critics say that Trayvon was a victim of racial profiling.
On the night of the shooting, Trayvon was heading to see his relatives after making a stop at a 7-11 store. It was 7pm, and Trayvon was unarmed. Zimmerman, a community watch member, thought Trayvon looked suspicious and called police.
George Zimmerman: He’s got his hand in his waistband and he’s a black male.
Dispatcher: Are you following him?
Dispatcher: We don’t need you to do that.
Shelby: But Zimmerman ignored the dispatcher. He caught up with Trayvon and they began fighting. Two minutes after Zimmerman was told that police would handle the situation, seven neighbors called 9-1-1, reporting screams and then gunfire.
Dispatcher: So, you think he’s yelling help?
Dispatcher: Alright. What is…
Neighbor: There’s… there’s gunshots.
Shelby: Trayvon was dead. Shot once in the chest.
Zimmerman told police he shot Trayvon in self-defense. He had the necessary permits to carry a gun. But all Trayvon was carrying was his cell phone, a can of ice tea and a bag of Skittles.
Trayvon’s father says his son was murdered.
“Can’t be self-defense. No way. What was he going to do, attack him with a bag of Skittles? My son is the victim here. There’s no reason why he should have been in that situation. None whatsoever.”
Shelby: Trayvon’s story has gained national attention. Hundreds of thousands of people have logged on to Change.org to sign this petition, calling for the arrest of the shooter, George Zimmerman. And in Florida, protesters are promising to keep up the pressure. At least two other rallies are scheduled for this week, and Trayvon’s parents are now calling on the FBI to get involved in the investigation. They say that the local police and prosecutors have not done their job.