• 18 Days and Two Shots.

    It's been 18 days and counting since Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman has yet to be charged and jailed for his role in killing Martin, nor has the Sanford Police Department seen fit to do anything other than give excuses, intimidate and tamper witnesses and pray this whole thing somehow blows over or disappears.

    There have been a few developments. For one, the case was turned over to the Florida state district attorney's office for further investigation. Hopefully the state D.A. can find that same probable cause that seemed to elude the Sanford P.D. for the past two-and-a-half weeks. The family of Trayvon Martin is pushing for the FBI to intervene in the case.

    Another development is the release of the 911 tapes, the first featuring the call made by George Zimmerman himself and the second made by a nearby resident. The second tape has Martin screaming "Help me," essentially begging for his life before you hear Zimmerman pull the trigger. Unfortunately, I can't embed those videos, so they're in the links below.

    You might not want to listen to the second 911 tape. To say it's unsettling is a major understatement.

    First video (audio only): Zimmerman calls 911.
    Second video (audio only): Resident calls 911, Trayvon in background, shot fired.

    In the second video, you can hear two shots fired: one shot near the beginning of the call and a second, louder shot towards the end. That pretty much blows Zimmerman's self-defense claims to shit. This child was murdered.

    So now we need the murder weapon and the shell cases from said weapon to bring it all home, right? A commentator over at the Atlantic asked a very important question in regards to that:

    I want to know if they bothered to collect shell casings, or even keep his gun, since he was released. This recording is the first reporting of two shots fired.

    It's something myself and others want to know. If they didn't, it shows the Sanford P.D. didn't just do a extraordinarily sloppy job of locating and securing evidence -- they completely abrogated their duties as sworn law enforcement officers. And it is something that will make any case brought against Zimmerman that much harder to prosecute.

    The entire police department deserves a federal foot shoved up its ass, but chances are the GOP will use any moves made by the DOJ on Eric Holder's watch to bitch about government somehow "overstepping its bounds" or claim Holder's involvement somehow equals racial solidarity. You know, because he's black, Trayvon's black and you know how those darkies black people love sticking up for one another.

    Meanwhile, it seems like gunning down young black men is no big deal for police and other persons of authority in Sanford, Florida:

    In 2005, two white security guards shot and killed Travares McGill, one of them was the son of a Sanford Police officer. The shooting drove city race relations to a modern low, according to some black residents.

    Security guards Patrick Swofford and Bryan Ansley saw Travares dropping off friends in the parking lot of the apartment complex they were hired to guard, according to published reports.

    The two claimed Travares tried to run them down and both fired their weapons at him, they later would claim self-defense.

    Travares was pronounced dead at the scene. Swofford was a police department volunteer and Ansley is the son of a former veteran of the force.

    The pair were arrested and charged, Swofford with manslaughter and Ansley with firing into an occupied vehicle. But a judge later cited lack of evidence and dismissed both cases.

    According to autopsy reports, Travares suffered fatal gunshot wounds to the back, and it was unclear if the pair was in danger.

    Suffice to say, some people are worried that Trayvon's death and Zimmerman's non-prosecution will wind up setting off something ugly in this turmoil-stricken town.  That "something ugly" might just be right around the corner:

    The New Black Liberation Militia, a self-styled black survival group, has announced that it plans to make a citizens arrest of Zimmerman next week, the Associated Press reported.

    It quoted Najee Muhammad, a group leader, saying, "We'll find him. We've got his mug shot and everything."

    Natalie Jackson, a lawyer for the Martin family, said she does not support the threat, but also cannot control them.

    "There are people out there with their own agendas," Jackson said. "It's nothing we condone."

    Zimmerman has moved out of his Sanford home because of death threats, according to his father, Robert Zimmerman.

    If these people get a hold of Zimmerman, there is no guarantee he'll live through the experience. If Zimmerman turns up dead by another man's hand at this point...

    This case has some similarities to that of Easton "DJ" Henry, a young college student who was shot and killed by a Pleasantville, N.Y. police officer who claimed Henry tried to run him over with his vehicle. Henry's family and friends maintain he was moving out of a fire lane when he was murdered:

    A passenger inside “DJ” Henry’s vehicle told New York authorities he thought a police officer wanted Henry to move the car he was driving by tapping the driver’s side window with a flashlight seconds before Henry was fatally shot by police in October 2010.

    Desmond Hinds, 21, a Pace University football player, told police in Mount Pleasant, N.Y., that Henry, the driver, then pulled around the bend “going at a decent speed.”

    Hinds said he looked down briefly, and when he looked up, he saw a person in front of the car “with his hands up together.”

    “And then I saw two to three holes in the windshield,” Hinds told police.

    Trigger-happy cops and young black males who are perceived as "threats," no matter how they look. Trayvon Martin was not the dark, hulking, physically superior but mentally challenged "Supernigger" that exists in the minds of FReepers and the unreconstructed among us. He was a harmless high school student who was just walking from the store with a pack of Skittles and a Arizona Ice Tea in hand.

    Speaking of trigger-happy, a critical component in this entire case is Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, passed in 2005. This provision eliminates the "duty to retreat" clause that is included in most self-defense statutes. It's also how Zimmerman managed to walk away a free man shortly after killing Martin:

    A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

    Given how certain segments of the population feel about other particular segments, this results in cases where one person could perceive as a threat someone who comes from a group that is perceived as a threat as a whole and given such, act in a manner that leads to the death of said person under the guise of the other acting in "self-defense." A person's perception of what constitutes a "threat" can be tainted by racism or personal prejudices. What appears to be an innocent young man can be perceived by someone indoctrinated to view that young man and others like him in a entirely negative manner as a "threat." I doubt a white teenager in a hoodie would have solicited the same sort of reaction that seeing Trayvon Martin had on George Zimmerman.

    Many people have called for Zimmerman's death and I'll admit, I was in that camp, too. Now that I've sat back and cleared the unbridled anger I had over this tragedy, I'd rather see Zimmerman made to account for his actions via trial, where he can then be convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his natural life either in an isolated jail cell or on Death Row. Killing Zimmerman will set off a horrific wave of anger, violence and ill-will the likes no one's seen. Letting Zimmerman walk will do the same thing, except it'll prove once and for all that it's Open Season on young black males and any other group the unreconstructed and Teabagging faux-patriots deem "hostile" or "undesirable" or a "threat."