“He’s got his hand in his waistband and he’s a black male,” George Zimmerman told the 9-1-1 dispatcher.
Do not follow him, the dispatcher advised Zimmerman.
Zimmerman followed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin anyway.
“These assholes always get away,” Zimmerman continued in the 9-1-1 recordings which were released Friday.
The dispatcher had told Zimmerman not to get out of his car.
Zimmerman got out of the car and chased Martin anyway.
So, what exactly were George Zimmerman’s intentions when he decided to ignore the 9-1-1 dispatcher who told him not to get out of his car and follow Martin on the evening of February 26?
That is the question Sanford, Florida’s police chief Bill Lee and Seminole County prosecutors should be asking. Why? Because when you remove “opinion” issues such as race and Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law from the debate, whether or not Zimmerman should be arrested and charged for Martin’s shooting death boils down to his intentions that night.
We’ve heard 28-year-old Zimmerman’s account of what happened. It was night. It was raining. And, Martin was walking through the gated community with a hoodie over his head. When Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain saw Martin, he called 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher he had spotted a suspicious person walking in the neighborhood.
“He’s got his hand in his waistband and he’s a black male,” Zimmerman said.
The dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow Martin. Still, Zimmerman got out of the car anyway and chased the teen because, as he said in the 9-1-1 recordings, “These assholes always get away.”
According to Police Chief Lee, the reason Zimmerman has not been arrested is because after he chased and caught up with the teenager, Zimmerman, who had a permit to carry a handgun, felt threatened and shot Martin in self defense.
However, some witnesses have given different accounts of what they saw and heard. One witness, Selma Mora Lamilla, told the Miami Herald, “I know what I heard. I heard a cry and a shot. If there was a fight, it did not happen here where the boy was shot. I would have heard it, as this all happened right outside my open window.”
Seconds after the shooting, another witness told a 9-1-1 dispatcher, “He’s (Zimmerman) out there with a flashlight. The guy is raising his hands up saying he shot the person.”
According to an attorney for Martin’s family, the teenager can be heard begging for his life in the 9-1-1 recordings.
So, who and what are we to believe?
Zimmerman’s claim that he shot Martin in self defense just might be legal under Florida’s so-called “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows a person who believes they are in imminent danger to use deadly force as a defense.
Martin was on his way home from the store, carrying only a cell phone, a can of iced tea, and a bag of Skittles for his younger brother. He was not carrying any type of weapons.
Could it be that Martin ran because he was being followed and then chased by an unknown man with a gun? A man who wasn’t wearing a police uniform or driving a police vehicle? I wonder who felt the most threatened that rainy night. Who believed they were in imminent danger? The unarmed teenager running away from a man with a gun or the man with the gun?
Despite the obvious answers to those questions, the mere fact that Zimmerman disregarded the 9-1-1 dispatcher’s order to not follow Martin speaks loudly of his intentions, which, by itself, warrants his arrest.