Justice Department to Investigate Martin Killing
Frederick Carter | 3/20/2012, 11:47 p.m.
As watch captain, he told neighbors to be on the lookout, specifically referring to young black men who appeared to be from the other side of the community's gates, The Herald reported.
Despite questions from the 911 accounts, Zimmerman remains uncharged and free, a travesty of justice, according to Cleaver.
"I am outraged by the way in which this case has been handled by the Sanford Police Department in Florida. Those who are meant to protect us and our children have blatantly turned their backs on fairness and justice ... the Sanford Police Department ....
has shown blatant disregard for justice," he said. "Contrary to the flippant way this case has been handled, his life had meaning and purpose. Trayvon had a family, friends and a future all taken away because of the color of his skin. We will not stop until justice for Trayvon is served because a life is a terrible thing to take."
As the Black Caucus called on the Obama administration to probe Martin's death, students from across Florida demonstrated Monday and demanded Zimmerman's arrest.
Civil rights activist Al Sharpton is expected to join Sanford city leaders in a Tuesday evening town hall meeting to discuss with residents how the investigation is being handled. Earlier Monday, students held rallies on the campus of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee and outside the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, where prosecutors are reviewing the case to determine if charges should be filed.
Yet authorities may be hamstrung by a state law that allows people to defend themselves with deadly force.
Prosecutors may not be able to charge Zimmerman because of changes to state law in 2005. Under the old law, people could use deadly force in self-defense only if they had tried to run away or otherwise avoid the danger.
Under the new law, there is no duty to retreat and it gives a Floridian the right "to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force," if he feels threatened. "I don't think a man who exited his vehicle after the 911 dispatcher told him to stay inside the car can claim self-defense," Carl McPhail, a 28-year-old Barry University law school student, said at the Sanford rally.
The 70 protesters at the Sanford rally chanted "What if it was your son?" and held posters saying, "This is not a race issue." Many carried Skittles.
"You would think that Sanford is still in the 1800s claiming that this man can call self-defense for shooting an unarmed boy," Linda Tillman, a restaurant owner who attended a rally in Sanford, said Monday.