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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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Lost Love? Play the Race Card……and Blame it on “The Man”

Man charged with burning cross in driveway

CHRIS OLWELL / News Herald Writer

PANAMA CITY — A recent cross burning at the home of a Panama City mixed-race couple does not signal the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan; it was the symptom of something understandable to anyone who’s ever been afraid of losing someone.

LB Williams, a 50-year-old black man, his wife of nearly seven years Donna Williams, who is white, and their bi-racial daughter found a cross burning in their driveway Nov. 4. Their grandchild was home too.

“When I saw that cross burning, I was scared to death,
” Donna Williams said. “I was terrified…we all were.”

They called police and reported it. Her grandbaby still reports seeing fires outside the house, even when there are none. There’s a scar burned into the driveway in the shape of a cross, she said.

“It started out as a hate crime [investigation] based on the information that we had at the time,”
said Sgt. Jeff Becker with the Panama City Police Department.

It was odd though; the investigator told Donna Williams that whoever left this symbol of hate and fear to burn in the driveway probably didn’t want to damage the lawn or burn down the house.

Two days later, Donna found a note taped to the front door and the side entrance of the house. She paraphrased:

“They were watching us, I assumed me and the kids, and that I better not leave that [N-word],” Donna Williams said. The note was signed “KKK.”

This was another odd development.

“When did the KKK start supporting black and white, interracial marriages?”
she asked.

Police thought so too. On Monday, LB Williams admitted to setting the fire and posting the notes, according to the arrest affidavit charging him with two felonies: domestic violence stalking and exhibits that intimidate. He did it, he said, so she wouldn’t proceed with the divorce she filed for.

It started clicking for Donna Williams a few minutes after she found the notes. The handwriting wasn’t exactly the same, but it was close enough that she recognized it. It wasn’t a hate crime, but a love crime. But for days, her husband denied involvement in both incidents.

It’s hard to know what was going through LB Williams’ head, and he couldn’t be reached to answer the question. He was released from the Bay County Jail Tuesday with no bond. His daughter said he had left his cell phone at the house.

The cross and the notes were the desperate acts of a desperate man, Williams said. Police agreed. The fact that Williams was released from jail on two felonies without any bond might be a good indication of the danger he poses to the community (though he’s not allowed to go home, a standard condition of bond in domestic violence cases).

“He truly is a good man. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t do drugs and he works like a dog,” Donna Williams said. “We just can’t be together.”

Read more: SOURCE

Ice Cream Shop Mascot…or Racist Malcontent?

Patrons mistake ice cream shop mascot for KKK robes

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By Tom McNiff

Once and for all, people, it’s an ice cream cone.

The owners of Ice Cream Family Corner and Sandwiches at the busy intersection of South Pine Avenue and Southwest 17th Street say their two-month-old business is getting creamed because passers-by have mistaken their white-hooded ice cream cone mascot for a KKK protester.

Co-owner Jose Cantres says rumors are swirling on Facebook about the exact nature of the little vanilla cone, and employees heard through word of mouth that potential customers have steered clear of the shop to avoid the character.

Liza Diaz, who manages the store for Cantres and co-owner Jesus Diaz, said an employee at the bank where she does business told her a co-worker was so frightened by the white dollop patrolling the street corner that she called her husband crying and refused to drive through the intersection.

“One (customer) told me, ‘I had to think twice before coming in here because I thought it was KKK,’
” Diaz said.

Interestingly, Diaz, who is from Puerto Rico, had never heard of the KKK before this controversy. She can’t even quite get her tongue around the name, referring to the white supremacist group as the “Ku Ku Klan” without a hint of irony or sarcasm.

Close up, the costume looks nothing like the white-hooded Klan garb that evokes such strong emotions. Its fluffy white top, flecked with colored sprinkles, curls slightly at its peak, and it sits atop a brown waffle cone.\

But the costume tends to sag around the wearer’s shoulders, and the waffle cone is mostly obscured by the sign the mascot holds in front of him. So to a motorist who gets only a glance cruising past at 40 mph, it can — and apparently does — look like a menacing Klansman.

Although this corner location has been a graveyard for eateries over the years, mostly because getting into and out of the parking lot can be tricky, Liza Diaz believes the costume is to blame for the rocky road the shop finds itself on. The clientele, she said, melted away right after the mascot hit the street. Indeed, just before lunch Monday, there wasn’t a soul in the store except for a handful of employees.

Through it all, the partners have managed to maintain their good humor. The little ice cream cone no longer beckons to passers-by, and the owners have expanded their offerings — which already include Boars Head sandwiches, flan and what they call “the best Cuban” sandwich in town — to include Spanish cuisine.

“We’re a friendly environment, family-oriented,”
Liza Diaz said. “We’re not (racist). We’re very friendly, very religious.”

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