George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watch of a gated community in Florida who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin “in self-defense”, is the focus of a recent online petition, urging authorities to file criminal charges against George Zimmerman.
George Zimmerman has moved from the gated community due to multiple death threats and has also been withdrawn from his college for the safety of other students as well as himself. President Barack Obama spoke about the incident, “I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together, federal, state and local, to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.” President Obama feels particularly connected to this case because of his African-American heritage, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”
The nation has taken this tragedy to heart and actions have been taken to make sure a criminal is put behind bars and to make sure something like this never happens again. An online petition to file criminal charges against George Zimmerman has been signed by more than 1.3 million people. Students and civil-rights leaders in Atlanta, Georgia have plans to march to protest the states “stand your ground” statute that has kept George Zimmerman out of jail. The organizers are asking those marching to wear hoodies and bring skittles as that is what Martin had with him when he was murdered.
The Sanford Police Chief announced that he will temporarily step down as head of the department, claiming his role “has become a distraction from the investigation,” though, the parents of Treyvon Martin are not pleased. “The temporary step-down of Bill Lee is nothing,” said the boy’s father, Tracy Martin. “We want an arrest, we want a conviction, and we want a sentence for the murder of our son.”
George Zimmerman saw Martin, an African-American, walking in his neighborhood and called the cops thinking the teenager was up to no good. In reality, Martin was walking back from a convenient store where he had gone to buy Skittles. George Zimmerman started to follow Martin, who was on the phone with his girlfriend and started to become worried why a man was following him, and after a short time shot and killed the teenager. Many neighbors had called 911 when they heard a gunshot and reported they had not heard shuffling or any other indication that there was a fight, but that they heard Martin “whimpering” before the unarmed teen was shot.
George Zimmerman has not been arrested for the murder of Martin due to a Florida law that allows citizens to use “force with force” as opposed to walking away from a dangerous situation. If a person feels they are in danger of becoming seriously injured, they are allowed use force to stop it from happening. George Zimmerman claims that Martin had attacked him prior to the shooting.