A term coined to describe those individuals of a particular race who project themselves into the media spotlight as spokespersons whenever there is an alledged racial incident which involves their race. The use of the word “Hustler”, included as a part of the term, also implies that these individuals expliot a racial situation to serve their own interests.
Trayvon Martin (l); George Zimmerman (r)
Photo of Martin is deceptive because it was taken when he was 12 years old
George Zimmerman, 28, Latino-white mixed race, shot to death an unarmed black male Trayvon Martin, 17.
Evening of February 26, 2012.
The Retreat at Twin Lakes, a recently-built electronic-gated private community of condos and townhouses in Sanford, Florida. The community reportedly experienced numerous instances of burglary, theft, and one shooting during the previous year, with 402 calls made to the police.
Martin was walking to the home of his father’s girlfriend from a convenience store. Zimmerman followed him, after calling the Sanford Police Department’s non-emergency number at 7 p.m., saying he witnessed what he described as “suspicious” behavior — of a man “just walking around slowly looking at houses” in the rain with his hand in his waistband and holding something in his other hand . The police dispatcher tape recorded Zimmerman saying, “This guy looks like he is up to no good. He is on drugs or something.”
The dispatcher recommended that he not take any action, and informed him that police were on the way. Zimmerman reported that Martin had started running. The dispatcher asked him if he was in pursuit and he affirmed that he was. The dispatcher informed him that pursuit was not necessary, saying “We don’t need you to do that.” Zimmerman affirmed “OK” and made arrangements to meet with police when they arrived.
Soon afterward, Zimmerman fatally shot Martin.
When the police arrived, they reported finding Martin face-down and unresponsive, with a gunshot wound in the chest. The police report states that they attempted CPR, paramedics arrived and continued CPR, finally declaring him dead at 7:30 p.m.
Invoking Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, Zimmerman described the shooting to the police who arrived on the scene as self-defense, telling police he had stepped out of his truck to check the name of the street he was on, when Martin attacked him from behind as he walked back to his truck. Zimmerman said he fired the semiautomatic handgun because he feared for his life.
But Martin was unarmed, and was carrying a bag of Skittles candy and a can of Arizona brand iced tea.
Statements by the police say Zimmerman had grass on his back and his back was wet. Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose and the back of the head; subsequently his lawyer stated that Zimmerman’s nose was broken. However, the police report does not indicate that Zimmerman required medical attention.
The police took Martin’s body and stored it in a morgue, calling him “John Doe”. The morning after the incident, Trayvon Martin’s father Tracy called missing persons and the police to report his son as missing. Officers were dispatched to the home, where they showed the father a crime scene photograph of Martin for identification purposes.
The responding officers did not arrest Zimmerman, saying on March 12 that they did not find evidence to contradict his claim of self-defense. Sanford police chief Bill Lee stated, “Mr. Zimmerman was not acting outside the legal boundaries of Florida Statute by carrying his weapon when this incident occurred.”
Photo of an older Trayvon Martin
- 17 years old; 6″ 3″; 140 lb.
- Parents are divorced; Trayvon lived with mother; was visiting his father at father’s fiancee’s rented townhome in Sanford.
- Had no criminal record , but had just been suspended from school for 10 days for being “late too many times,” according to Trayvon’s English teacher Michelle Kypriss. According to Trayvon’s father, the suspension was because Trayvon was “in an unauthorized area on school property.” Father gave no additional clarifying details.
- Update (Mar. 27): New information has emerged that paints quite a different picture of Trayvon:
- He’s been suspended from school three times.
- He was on suspension when he was shot in February, after officials caught him with a ‘marijuana pipe’ and a baggie with drug residue.
- Martin was kicked out of school in October for graffiti after he was allegedly caught with a ‘burglary tool’ and a bag full of women’s jewelry.
- Son of a Peruvian immigrant mother and a physician and U.S. military veteran father.
- Licensed to carry a firearm.
- Respects and admires law enforcement officers and aspires to be one. In 2008, Zimmerman enrolled in the 4-month Seminole County Sheriff’s Office citizens’ law-enforcement academy.In 2009, he re-enrolled in Seminole State College and was working toward an associate degree with the goal of becoming a police officer. Seminole State College withdrew Zimmerman’s enrollment because of the shooting controversy.
- Criminal record: Zimmerman clearly is a pugnacious man. He was charged in 2005 of “resisting arrest with violence and battery on an officer” while interfering with the arrest of a friend. Zimmerman entered a pretrial diversion program, so the charge of resisting arrest is not considered a conviction on his criminal record. Zimmerman was accused of domestic violence by an ex-fiancee who filed for a restraining order against him. Zimmerman counter-filed for a restraining order. A judge eventually ordered them both to stay away from each other for at least one year.
- A vigilant crime watcher: Zimmerman was chosen as a watch coordinator by his neighbors.Some neighbors call him “strict” while others say he’s “normal,” “helpful” and “passionate about neighborhood security”, having thwarted a previous burglary attempt. According to the Miami Herald, Zimmerman had placed 46 calls to the police since the beginning of 2011, “to report disturbances, break-ins, windows left open and other incidents; nine of those times, he saw someone or something suspicious”.
- His father said that, in the wake of the controversy, George Zimmerman has received death threats, disconnected his phones, and moved out of his home. Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee said Zimmerman had cooperated with investigators. Zimmerman eventually retained an attorney by March 24.
Disputed cell phone calls:
Both Martin and Zimmerman made phone calls during the incident, some of which were recorded. Recordings of 8 calls to the police made on the night of the shooting were released by the Sanford police on March 17, 2012.
- Early press reports incorrectly indicated that the recordings included the sound of a single shot followed by a voice pleading or begging for help, and then a second shot is heard, after which the voice immediately stopped. Later reports indicate that gun was fired only once. Zimmerman told police at the scene that he was the one crying out for help.
- According to phone records provided by T-Mobile,Martin was speaking on a cell phone to his girlfriend at the time of the incident. She was interviewed by an attorney, who has made a statement. According to the girl, Martin expressed concern about a “strange man” following him, and she advised him to run. She claims to have heard Martin say “What are you following me for?” followed by a man’s voice responding “What are you doing here?” She said that she heard the sound of pushing and that Martin’s headset suddenly went silent, leading her to believe that he had been knocked down. She attempted to call him back immediately, but was unable to reach him.
- A portion of what Zimmerman said in the call to police is disputed. Some have suggested the disputed words were “fucking coons”, an ethnic slur used against black people, while others suggest it was “clueless”, “course”, or “punks”. Joe Oliver, a Zimmerman family friend, claimed he heard the word “goon”.
- An eyewitness to the physical altercation just prior to the shooting stated that Martin was on top of Zimmerman and beating him up, while the older man yelled for help.
- Another witness, who had only heard but not seen the events, believed Martin was the one calling for help, and claimed that the police tried to “correct” her into changing their assertion to Zimmerman as the one calling for help.
- Yet another witness who also heard but did not see the events, Mary Cutcher, claimed that she believed the cry was from Martin and said that she did not believe that Zimmerman acted in self-defense, contending that she and her roommate heard Martin cry out, followed by a gunshot, whereupon they saw Zimmerman standing over his body.
How the shooting became a racist cause célèbre:
The shooting death of Trayvon Martin has ignited into a racial conflagration, with George Zimmerman and Sanford law enforcement being accused of racism. Zimmerman is accused of racially profiling Martin. Allegations were also made that the Sanford police were protecting Zimmerman.
Thousands of people attended rallies around the country to demand Zimmerman’s arrest,including a gathering on March 22 of civil rights leaders including Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, Dick Gregory, and others.
A petition by the left-wing Change.org has gathered more than 1.3 million signatures demanding Zimmerman’s arrest. The NAACP sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder stating that they “have no confidence that, absent federal oversight, the Sanford Police Department will devote the necessary degree of care to its investigation” and requesting that personnel be detailed to Sanford to review the case without bias.
Many people, from self-styled civil rights leaders to public officials, are piling on with incendiary comments and statements about the shooting. They include:
- Al Sharpton, one of the most outspoken activists in the Martin case, has devoted entire hour of his MSNBC show “PoliticsNation” to coverage of the shooting and interviews with Martin’s parents. On March 22, he participated in a rally in Sanford, Florida with Martin’s family and friends. CNN’s media watchdog Howard Kurtz questions Sharpton’s role as both reporter and activist.
- Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi vowed that no stone would be left unturned in finding justice in the Trayvon Martin killing case.
She praised Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to set up a task force to find the truth about what happened, and appointment of a replacement prosecutor for the case, Angela Corey.
- Jesse Jackson, who called Trayvon a “martyr” and said “blacks are under attack.”
- And Barack Obama, who on March 23, briefly addressed the Martin killing in response to a reporter’s question. Obama said, “Obviously, this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids…. If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” Imagine if a white President had said that about a white victim of a black shooting!
The racist New Black Panther Party has offered a $10,000 reward for the capture of George Zimmerman. On the steps of Sanford City Hall, New Black Panthers (NBP) handed out “wanted dead or alive” fliers that had Zimmerman’s picture. When asked whether he was inciting violence, NBP leader Mikhail Muhammad replied defiantly saying: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
The bounty announcement came moments after NBP members called for the mobilization of 10,000 black men to capture Zimmerman. Muhammad said members of his group would search for Zimmerman themselves in Maitland and Jacksonville — where Zimmerman had worked before the shooting.
Muhammad said the group’s national chairman, Dr. Malik Zulu Shabaz of Washington, D.C. is receiving donations from black entertainers and athletes.
Sanford police chief Bill Lee repeatedly defended the investigation, stating that the Sanford police did not feel they had conducted a racially biased investigation and welcomed a review of their efforts. Lee stated to reporters that they could not arrest Zimmerman because no evidence contradicted his story, and that to do so would leave them open to litigation. He also stated that though a 911 officer did instruct Zimmerman not to pursue Martin, those instructions are only recommendations that do not carry a legal obligation to comply with them.
Three out of the five members of the Sanford city commission, including the Mayor, passed a motion of no confidence in regards to Lee and his handling of the case. One member of the council, Mark McCarty, then asked for Lee to step down. On Mar 22, 2012, Lee announced publicly that he temporarily stepped down from his position as chief of police, stating “my involvement in this matter is overshadowing the process.”
Defense of Zimmerman
- In an open letter, Zimmerman’s father, Dr. Robert Zimmerman, defended his son against allegations that his actions were racially motivated, stating that Zimmerman was part Hispanic (his mother is a Peruvian immigrant), was raised in a multi-racial family, and “would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever,” claiming that the portrayal of his son as a racist “could not be further from the truth.”
- Zimmerman’s lawyer Craig Sooner stated that Zimmerman is not a racist, that he had mentored black youths in the past, and that only one side of the story is being told.
- Zimmerman’s friend, Joe Oliver, 53, a former television news reporter, noted “I’m a black male and all that I know is that George has never given me any reason whatsoever to believe he has anything against people of color.” Oliver said it was Zimmerman’s voice on the 911 tape calling for help.
- A new witness, known only as John, has come forth telling Sanford police that he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman shortly before the fatal shot.
Florida’s Stand Your Ground law:
Florida law, as of 2005, includes a “stand your ground” provision, under which a person can use deadly force if they reasonably believe it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm, in most circumstances. In many states, such laws protect people in their own homes, but Florida’s version extends the no-retreat premise to vehicles and public places.
Since its passage, shooting deaths with claims of self-defense have nearly tripled.Durell Peaden, a member of the Florida Senate until 2010 and one of the authors of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, said that based upon his understanding of what happened, Zimmerman should be prosecuted. According to Peaden, the law does not say that a person has a right to confront another. “The guy lost his defense right then,” said Peaden. “When [Zimmerman] said ‘I’m following him,’ he lost his defense.” But Zimmerman claimed that he was returning to his SUV when attacked, telling police he had stepped out of his truck to check the name of the street he was on, when Martin attacked him from behind as he walked back to his truck.
[Sources: Wikipedia; Daily Mail; NewsMax; America Conservative 2 Conservative, EUR Web.com]
H/t beloved Tina, Grouchy, Terry, and Wendy.
Former NAACP leader and conservative black pastor C.L. Bryant is accusing Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton of “exploiting” the Trayvon Martin tragedy to “racially divide this country.” Rev. Bryant said today in an interview with The Daily Call: “His family should be outraged at the fact that they’re using this child as the bait to inflame racial passions.” Bryant, who was once the chapter president of the Garland, Texas NAACP, calls Jackson and Sharpton “race hustlers” who are “acting as though they are buzzards circling the carcass of this young boy.”