February Is Black History Month

February Is Black History Month

Trinity Edwards, Staff Writer

February 1st is the first day of Black History month. Every week we will be writing one story to commemorate black history, specifically the issues related to racism and the need for everyone to become anti-racist. This week we are launching stories on the wrongfully convicted or unjustly treated African Americans whose names we must remember and say out loud.

This week’s story is a spotlight on a young teen named Trayvon Martin who was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida. On February 26, 2012 28-year-old George Zimmerman shot and killed a 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch coordinator for the gated community where Trayvon was visiting his dad’s fiancee. Trayvon was walking back home from the corner store with Skittles and a drink in his hands. George thought that he looked suspicious because he was wearing a grey hoodie with his hood on. Zimmerman called the Sanford police non-emergency number to report a suspicious person in the Twin Lakes community. Zimmerman said, “We’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy⁠ …”

He described an unknown male just walking around looking about in the rain and said, “This guy looks like he is up to no good or he is on drugs or something.”

Zimmerman reported that the person had his hand in his waistband and was walking around looking at homes. He also mentioned that Martin was wearing a “dark hoodie, like a grey hoodie.” On the recording, Zimmerman is heard saying, “These assholes, they always get away.”

About two minutes into the call, Zimmerman said, “He’s running.”

The dispatcher asked, “He’s running? Which way is he running?”

Noises on the tape at this point have been interpreted by some media outlets as the sound of a car door chime, possibly indicating Zimmerman opened his car door. Zimmerman followed Martin, eventually losing sight of him. The dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was following him. When Zimmerman answered, “Yeah,” the dispatcher said, “We don’t need you to do that.”

Zimmerman responded, “Okay.” After the phone hung up George and Trayvon got into a violent encounter with each other. It ended with Zimmerman shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Between 5 and 65 seconds after the fatal shot was fired officer Timothy Smith arrived at the scene. He reported finding Zimmerman standing near Martin, who was lying face down in the grass and unresponsive. At that time, Zimmerman stated to Smith that he had shot Martin and was still armed. Smith handcuffed Zimmerman and confiscated his black Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm semi-automatic pistol. Smith observed that Zimmerman’s back was wet and covered with grass, and he was bleeding from the nose and the back of his head.

Ricardo Ayala, the second officer to arrive that night, noticed Officer Smith had Zimmerman in custody, then observed Martin lying face down in the grass and attempted to get a response from him. At this time, Sgt. Anthony Raimondo arrived and together with Ayala began CPR. Paramedics from Sanford Fire and Rescue arrived and continued CPR, finally declaring Martin dead at 7:30 p.m.

Our brand new Social Justice club is hosting their first Gilbert Town Hall meeting in room 12 during lunch on Tuesday, February 7th. Bring your open Heart and socially conscious mind to discuss the issues that need attention: Restorative justice, diversity, empathy, globalism, and loving engagement. Take action today.