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Students react to the death of Trayvon Martin

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Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2012 12:46 am

Neighbors in a gated Sanford community were the only ones who actually heard the gunshot. Now, the country is analyzing the sound bite of Trayvon Martin’s last seconds. A cry. A gunshot. Then, silence.

Advocacy groups and others, including some UF students and professors, are demanding the arrest of George Zimmerman, who shot 17-year-old Martin on Feb. 26.

Zimmerman, 28, told authorities he shot Martin in self-defense after the two began to fight. Martin was unarmed that evening as he walked home from a store with Skittles and an iced tea.

In a 911 call released by the City of Sanford, a neighbor spoke with dispatchers with yelling in the background. A scream can be heard and, five seconds later, a gunshot.

Police arrested and questioned Zimmerman, who has a concealed weapon license, but he was later freed. Now, celebrities like Spike Lee and a change.org petition with about 900,000 signatures are calling for Zimmerman’s arrest.

Vincent Adejumo, a UF Ph.D. student and a member of the Black Graduate Student Organization, said Zimmerman should be held accountable for Martin’s death.

“He took his life for no reason,” Adejumo said.

Steven Noll, a professor of Florida history, said the state has a legacy of racism, especially in Central Florida.

“White people tend to think that racism is over,” Noll said. “Black people have legitimate reasons for not seeing things the same way.”

UF law professor Michelle Jacobs said she’s not surprised Zimmerman hasn’t been charged.

“When a black person gets killed in questionable circumstances by a white person, no one should be surprised that law enforcement was slow to launch an investigation,” she said.

Jamie Taylor lives in Retreat at Twin Lakes, the neighborhood where Martin was shot. She denied reports that Zimmerman was part of a neighborhood watch team and said that no official group did neighborhood patrols.

“Everyone feels horrible about what happened,” she said.

Adejumo said he agreed that the situation was horrible but said national media should focus more on the victim than the controversial circumstances.

“At the end of the day, we’re all God’s children,” Adejumo said.

Contact Shelby Webb at swebb@alligator.org.

Welcome to the discussion.

2 comments:

  • Gopblin posted at 1:27 am on Fri, Mar 23, 2012.

    Gopblin Posts: 110

    1) The witness reports that George Zimmerman was on the ground and Trayvon is on top of him punching him.
    2) The witness says that George Zimmerman was screaming and yelling for help.
    Police arrive and find Zimmerman bleeding on his face and the back of his head. He also has had grass stains on his back. All this confirms the story told by Zimmerman and the witness.
    3) Police play the 911 tape for Trayvon Martin's father, who tells police that the voice screaming is not the voice of his son.

    Pretty clear why the police didn't arrest Zim, I bet the ballistics checked out too as a point-blank shot from the ground upwards.

    If both of em were white or black, this would've been a routine self-defense case - one guy attacked the other, pinned him down and tried to knock him out, got shot. This isn't even about Stand Your Ground as Zimmerman had no ability to retreat at that point, he would've been fine under the old law.

    Now all the racists like Al Sharpton are trying to bend the truth to suit their agenda.

     
  • bmod76 posted at 7:48 am on Thu, Mar 22, 2012.

    bmod76 Posts: 35

    Wow. I am absolutely flabbergasted and disgusted by Jacobs' words. That's about as racist as it get's. She won't get into any trouble though. I wonder why... Also, "professor," the shooter isn't white. Do some research before you open your bigoted mouth. If you feel that way, call 911 and tell them to put you on the don't-help-if-they-call list.

    Additionally, as an instructor at the law school, I would think you would have a better understanding and respect for how intricate these processes are. I wouldn't expect you to jump on the bandwagon like everyone else. You should know that the state attorney's office carries the weight to make these decisions, and they are not made quickly, easily, or comfortably. I am ashamed to be a student today.