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Trayvon Martin Case: Timeline of Events


Trayvon Martin Case: Timeline of Events

(Image Credit: ABC News; Orange County Jail)

The slaying of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a Florida high school student who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, has captured national attention.

Petitions calling for justice for Martin have exploded, amid allegations of racism and calls for more scrutiny into how local police handled the investigation. George Zimmerman has yet to be charged in the case.

Below is a timeline of events:


Feb. 26:
Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Florida high school student, is found shot and killed, in Sanford, Fla., a community north of Orlando.

Several eyewitnesses report to police that they heard a scuffle, then a cry for help, and then a gunshot.

According to the Sanford police report, George Zimmerman, 28, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, is found armed with a handgun, standing over Martin. He has a bloody nose and a wound in the back of his head.

Martin is unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene. He has no weapons on him, only a pack of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea.

Zimmerman tells police he killed Martin in self defense. Taking him at his word, police do not arrest him, nor administer a drug or alcohol test. They also did not run a background check.

March 9:
Trayvon Martin’s family demands that police release the 911 tapes or make an arrest nearly one month after Martin was killed. Police declined to comment at the time, but told ABC News the tapes would be released the following week.

March 12:
ABC News uncovers questionable police conduct in the investigation of the fatal shooting of Martin, including the alleged “correction” of at least one eyewitness’ account.

Sanford Police Chief Billy Lee said there is no evidence to dispute Zimmerman’s assertion that he shot Martin out of self-defense.

March 16:
Police recordings made the night Zimmerman allegedly shot and killed Martin sent the boy’s mother screaming from the room and prompted his father to declare, “He killed my son,” a family representative tells ABC News.

ABC News affiliate WFTV publishes excerpts from the 911 calls.

One of several petitions for Zimmerman’s arrest has garnered more than 250,000 signatures on a change.org site, and at one point signatures were pouring in at the rate of 10,000 an hour, according to the website.

March 18:
Martin’s family asks Attorney General Eric Holder and the FBI to get involved in the investigation of their son’s death.

March 19:
A 16-year-old girl tells Benjamin Crump, the Martin family’s attorney, about the last moments of Martin’s life, ABC News is there exclusively. Martin was on the phone with her when George Zimmerman began following him. She recounted that she told Martin to run, then she heard some pushing, then the line went dead.

The U.S. Justice Department announces it has launched an investigation into Martin’s slaying.

ABC News also learns that Zimmerman violated major principles of the Neighborhood Watch manual, which states, “it should be emphasized to members that they do not possess police powers, and they shall not carry weapons or pursue vehicles.”

The state attorney in Seminole County, Fla., announces that a grand jury will review the evidence of the case on April 10.

March 20: Sanford police department admits to ABC News that investigators missed a possible racist remark by the shooter as he spoke to police dispatchers moments before the killing.

March 21: During a heated meeting over Trayvon Martin’s death, Sanford city commissioners conducted a vote of “no confidence” against embattled Police Chief Billy Lee. Three of five commissioners voted against the chief.

The city manager now decided whether or not to let Lee go.

Martin’s parents join hundreds of protesters in New York City for the “Million Hoodie March,” demanding justice for the slain 17-year-old.

A single online petition calling for Travyvon’s killer’s arrest has nearly 900,000 signatures and is now the fastest growing petition in internet history, according to Change.org. Tweets from celebrities, such as Justin Bieber and Spike Lee, helped fuel wide interest in the case.

The public relations person for Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing the Martin family, tells ABC News they received 418 media calls in one day.

March 22:
Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee announces he is temporarily stepping down amid accusations that his department bungled the investigation into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott also announced State Attorney Norman Wolfinger, another key investigator tied to the case, agreed to withdraw and Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll would lead a special new task force to prevent future tragedies.

Martin’s family meets officials from the Department of Justice.

Thousands rallied in Sanford, organized by the Reverend Al Sharpton, to demand Zimmerman’s arrest. Sanford police continue to accept Zimmerman’s claim that the shooting was in self defense.

March 23: Roughly 50 schools in Florida stage walkouts to protest the killing of Trayvon Martin and show support for the change.org petition demanding arrest of George Zimmerman.

The online petition surpassed 1.5 million signatures, making it all time fastest growing petition in change.org’s history, according to change.org.

At a White House press conference, President Obama takes time to address the Trayvon Martin case, saying, If I had a son he’d look like Trayvon.”

“Hoodies on the Hill,” a group of Capitol Hill staffers, also rally in support of Martin.

Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera adds to the controversy, igniting a firestorm of criticism when he seemed to indicate that Trayvon Martin’s apparel was to blame for the shooting.

A second “Million Hoodie March” is scheduled to take place in Philadelphia tonight.
SHOWS:

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10 Ways the War on Drugs is an Incredible Success

10 Ways the War on Drugs is a Wild Success

Eric Blair

For all the evidence of how the War on Drugs has failed society, there’s equally as much evidence of how it is a great success to those who continue to support it. The drug war has many advantages if you wish to control society and expand your empire. It also enriches several industries that would otherwise have a very difficult time staying solvent without it.

Here are ten ways the War on Drugs is a wild success:

Military-Industrial Profits:
As the Vietnam War came to an end, it struck fear into the military-industrial machine that enjoyed great profits from that conflict. In a world where contrived enemies were needed to keep a constant funding of weapons, Richard Nixon declared drugs “Public Enemy Number 1”. Thus, domestic armies were erected to combat the illegal drug trade, delivering consistent cash flow to weapons manufacturers. These companies make money, not just from the needs of the DEA, border patrol, and local police forces, but also from drug traffickers. Win-win and profits all around.

Huge Boon to Private Prisons:
The private prison industry thrives off long sentences for drug offenders. At least 25% of their profits come from these nonviolent criminals. A great number more are held on “drug related” charges that may have resulted in drug violence. However, the current trend shows that three-quarters of new inmates admitted to state prisons are nonviolent offenders. Private prisons clearly depend on arresting pot smokers and addicts of more severe drugs.


Prevents Higher Unemployment Rates:
Imagine if the millions of American currently jailed on drug charges were released into a job market already suffering from real unemployment numbers over 20%. Additionally, if it wasn’t for drugs being illegal, countless people like DEA agents, court staff, prison guards, parole officers, drug dealers, etc would otherwise be unemployed. Thank goodness for the war on drugs, or the U.S. economy would look even worse.

Suppresses Minority Populations:
It’s often said that the drug war is a war on minorities: “According to the ACLU, African Americans make up an estimated 15% of drug users, but they account for 37% of those arrested on drug charges, 59% of those convicted and 74% of all drug offenders sentenced to prison. Or consider this: The U.S. has 260,000 people in state prisons on nonviolent drug charges; 183,200 (more than 70%) of them are black or Latino.” So it is a huge success for those who wish to suppress minority populations.

Drives Up Prices:
Making any substance illegal will result in much higher prices than a free market would dictate. Especially when there’s a high demand for that substance. In the case of the cannabis plant, which grows like a weed and requires very little value added, the dried flower would virtually be free if it wasn’t for the harsh restrictions and dangers involved in producing and distributing it. These high prices are terrific for drug dealers and even medical marijuana growers opposed legalization in California because it threatened their profits.

Drug Violence Justifies Tough Gun Laws: The violence generated from the prohibition of drugs is reminiscent of the extreme mob violence during the prohibition of alcohol. Prohibition of anything will always create black markets which require firearms to protect banned products. Recently, the U.S. government itself was caught red-handed supplying guns to Mexican drug cartels in their “Fast and Furious” scandal. It’s now proven that the ATF plotted to use Fast and Furious to push for new gun control regulations. Indeed, most street violence is due to turf wars over the drug trade, and tougher gun laws are proposed as the war escalates. It’s wonderful for those who blame violence on guns and wish to restrict them from law-abiding citizens.

Protects Big Pharma Monopolies: No one is happier about the war on drugs than Big Pharma. Their control over the FDA and monopoly of “controlled substances” would be threatened if all drugs were legalized. They want you addicted to their FDA-approved versions of heroin and cocaine, not something you can get on the black market. In turn, they also benefit greatly when the prices of street drugs increase, as they can then inflate the cost of their products. They love the drug war so much they’ve lobbied to extend it to vitamins and supplements.

Allows Proxy Armies: If you want to create an empire by force, but it’s politically disadvantageous to base your army in certain countries, then the global war on drugs is your ticket to supplying troops or creating proxy armies. One of the most recent examples is Costa Rica, a peaceful country in Central America without an army, where the U.S. bribed the government to allow the Navy and Marines to be stationed off the Caribbean coast to fight the war on drugs. In other nations where even this won’t be allowed, the CIA funds and arms one of the drug cartels who then act as their hired enforcers, or they’re used as an excuse for governments to accept U.S. help to combat the enemy they created. In either case, the U.S. sells more arms and trains soldiers to be used upon command.

Keeps Big Banks Flush with Cash:
It has long been known that big banks happily launder money for the big drug cartels. According to The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “Up to 1.5 trillion dollars in drug money are laundered through legal enterprises, accounting for 5% of global GDP.” Take just this year and one bank, Wachovia; who had to pay a slap-on-the-wrist fine for laundering more than $420 billion for Mexican drug cartels. Imagine where the big banks would be without this money, given that they also needed a bailout of over $23 trillion for lack of sufficient deposits to pay for their gambling habits.

Funds CIA Black Ops: Do you ever wonder where the U.S. government gets all that money for their secret “Black Ops” like underground bases, secret wars, corporate takeovers and seed money, etc? It’s been proven over and over that the CIA (and Pentagon) controls a large majority of the illicit drug trade either directly or indirectly through proxies mentioned above. They’ve been caught in the act of shipping in massive amounts of cocaine, while the CIA now openly admits to protecting and facilitating the opium trade in Afghanistan. If it wasn’t for this tremendous profit, the CIA would not be able to build their secret shadow government.

So, as you can see, there are great benefits to the War on Drugs depending what side of the coin you’re on. If you’re a poor pot smoker, well, you’re out of luck. But if you’re the biggest heroin and cocaine dealer in the world and desire a monopoly . . . well, you’ve got the world right where you want it.

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