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Trayvon Martin murdered twice, first by a racist criminal, then by a racist criminal system

March 24, 2012

by Michael Coard

The passionate demands for justice for Trayvon Martin consuming the entire country is the next step following the movement for justice for Oscar Grant that consumed California. – Photo: Julie Fletcher, AP
It’s been more than a few hours since your teenage son went out to buy some snacks during a break in a televised NBA All-Star game that you, he and his little brother were watching. But it’s no real big deal because you know he’s a good kid. No arrests. No gang stuff. No delinquency. No drugs. In fact, he’s an A-B 11th grade student athlete with aspirations of becoming an aviation mechanic.

So you know you really don’t need to worry. Maybe he ran into a cute girl. Maybe one of his buddies called him on the cell phone he was carrying and told him about an NBA party being held by some cool neighborhood youngsters.

Although you tell yourself you don’t really need to worry, you begin to worry anyway. And that’s because a few hours have turned into several hours. And the nighttime has turned into the daytime. So you call the local police department’s Missing Persons Unit, but they don’t have any info. So then you call 911, and the cops ask you for a description.

Shortly afterward, they show up with a photo of a bloody-mouth kid lying dead on a morgue stretcher. Toe-tagged as John Doe. But he had his cell phone with him. And the police had found it on him. And the names and numbers of his family are in it. But the cops never called you or anyone else in it to ask anything.

However, they did ask you if the battered corpse in that photo is your son. All you can do is slump to the floor, devastated by all-consuming shock and despair, and then drag yourself to your phone, call his mother, and, unable to say anything more, simply tell her “(our child) is gone.” Your innocent, unarmed boy. Murdered. With a gaping gunshot blast to the chest. Gone.

That can’t be. He just went to 7-Eleven. He just went to buy some Skittles and an iced tea. But it can be, and it is. He was murdered. He is gone. Forever. But imagine that it wasn’t Trayvon Martin and his family who it happened to. Imagine instead that it was your son, your grandson, your nephew or your little brother. Now what?

Well, before we figure out what to do, let’s start with what happened. It all began on the evening of Feb. 26 in Sanford, Florida, 20 miles north of Orlando. Three witnesses said they heard the 140 pound, 17-year-old Trayvon cry for help and then heard a sequence of sounds that contradicted the 240 pound, 28-year-old George Zimmerman.

And one of the three specifically mentioned that the crying stopped immediately after hearing Zimmerman’s Kel Tek 9 mm dead-on, upper center mass shot. That’s probably because humans stop crying after they’re murdered. While Trayvon lay face down in the grass, the still armed Zimmerman was standing straddled over the kid’s lifeless body. That was the first time the child was murdered, and it was by a racist criminal.

A witness mentioned that the crying stopped immediately after hearing Zimmerman’s Kel Tek 9 mm dead-on, upper center mass shot. That’s probably because humans stop crying after they’re murdered. (A police dispatcher had tried to convince the witness that it was Zimmerman’s voice she heard crying. – ed.)

He was murdered a second time, and that was by a racist criminal system. The self-appointed block watch captain who continued to stalk Trayvon despite a police order to the contrary, who exited his vehicle despite no criminal activity by the unarmed child who was outweighed by 100 pounds, who confronted him, and who then shot him was not arrested because, in the words of Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, Zimmerman had a “squeaky clean” record and claimed self-defense.

But it wasn’t squeaky clean at all. In fact, he had been arrested, charged and prosecuted in July 2005 for assaulting an Orange County police officer. The lead offense was the felony “Resisting Officer With Violence – Battery On Law Enforcement” and the second was a misdemeanor. But, for some strange – i.e., white-privilege – reason, and despite the officer’s sworn affidavit accusing Zimmerman of the violent assault, the county prosecutor on June 15, 2006, agreed to enroll Zimmerman into a program similar to Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, which in both (and other) states is only for “non-violent first offenders.” In Florida, it’s called Pre-Trial Diversion.

Once a defendant completes that often less-than-one-year program, the arrest record is technically expunged. Contrary to media reports, however, Zimmerman’s case was never dismissed. It was simply hidden – unless of course you have a computer and check the county court clerk’s public website.

Chief Lee continued to systemically murder Trayvon and zealously defend Zimmerman by stating, “If someone asks you, ‘Hey, do you live here?’ is it OK for you to jump on them and beat the crap out of somebody?’ It’s not.” First of all, the eye- and ear-witnesses tell a story completely different from Zimmerman’s. Moreover, self-defense, or what lawyers properly call “justification,” can’t be reasonably claimed by aggressors, especially aggressors like Zimmerman who follow a person, confront that person, outweigh that person by 100 pounds, and outgun that person by possessing a high-powered firearm compared to Skittles and iced tea.

Self-defense, or what lawyers properly call “justification,” can’t be reasonably claimed by aggressors, especially aggressors like Zimmerman who follow a person, confront that person, outweigh that person by 100 pounds, and outgun that person by possessing a high-powered firearm compared to Skittles and iced tea.

And this bullshit justification claim is no less bullshit despite Florida’s cowboy “Stand Your Ground” law. This law, which in 2005 became the first of its kind among 16 others in the nation, basically means that a person has no duty to retreat outside in public even if he’s easily able to in response to danger just as a person has no duty to retreat inside at home in response to such danger. But that shoot ‘em up law doesn’t justify Zimmerman’s murderous vigilantism, especially after he responded yes when a 911 dispatcher asked him, “Are you following (Trayvon),” and then told him to stop immediately because “We don’t need you to do that.”

The aggressive Zimmerman, who had made 46 wanna-be cop assist calls to the Sanford police department during the past 14 months, had such a bad reputation among neighbors at the complex where he killed Trayvon that they had filed complaints. In fact, he was known to go door-to-door asking residents to “be on the look-out,” primarily for “young Black men.”

The chief wasn’t the first to bring racism to the department. It already had a sordid history before he took over in May of last year. On July 16, 2005, another unarmed Black child, 16-year-old Travares McGill, was murdered inside his car in the parking lot of another apartment complex by two white security guards. One was the 28-year-old son of a longtime former Sanford police officer and the other was a 26-year-old Sanford police deputy volunteer.

Neither was charged with murder but only with mere manslaughter and mere firing into an occupied vehicle. They, like Zimmerman, claimed self-defense. All charges were later dismissed by a judge who claimed there was a lack of evidence – despite the fact that the kid was shot in the back.

Furthermore, the same officer in charge of the current Trayvon tragedy also headed the investigation of the December 2010 case of Sherman Ware, a defenseless homeless Black man, who was viciously attacked by 21-year-old Justin Collison, the son of a bitch, I mean the son of a white Sanford police lieutenant, Chris Collison. That same investigating officer refused to arrest that cop’s son – despite the fact that the brutal assault was videotaped.

It wasn’t until after a local TV station broke the story that the son was finally arrested seven weeks later – and that was after the lieutenant’s family had paid off the homeless man in an unsuccessful attempt to get the charges dropped. That’s not all when it comes to racist law enforcement or lack thereof in “good ol’ boy” Seminole County.

Shortly after the July 1991 claim of a crack-addicted white female that she had been gang raped, the county sheriff quickly led a raid of 29 deputies into the Black community of Midway and immediately arrested and charged four Black men who he described as “animals.” But all charges were later dismissed after the drug-hazed woman finally admitted that she had made up the entire story.

Chief Lee stated a few days ago that he will soon submit his investigative report in Trayvon’s case to Brevard and Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger, after which the state’s formal investigation will begin. But don’t hold your breath. A state spokesperson said that murder and manslaughter investigations have been known to take up to a couple years. What? In this case with these facts?

I know that you racists out there will say that, although Trayvon’s death is obviously horrible, it’s relatively minor compared to the many so-called “Black-on-Black” murders throughout the country. And I’d agree that you have a point as far as the numbers are concerned. However, there’s a big difference. When Tyrone in the hood kills Jamal over a drug dispute, the cops don’t refuse to arrest him. And the DAs don’t refuse to prosecute him. And the juries don’t refuse to find him guilty. And the judges don’t refuse to sentence him to a lengthy jail term. That, my racist friend, is the big difference.

While stalking Trayvon and talking to the 911 dispatcher, Zimmerman said, “These assholes always get away with this.” Well, you know what? He was absolutely right about that. But, like all good things, all bad things also come to an end. And justice must prevail this time around so this racist criminal doesn’t “get away” with the first murder and so this racist criminal justice system doesn’t “get away” with the second murder.

While stalking Trayvon and talking to the 911 dispatcher, Zimmerman said, “These assholes always get away with this.” Well, you know what? He was absolutely right about that. But, like all good things, all bad things also come to an end. And justice must prevail this time around.

Now here’s what you should – I mean must – do. Call the Sanford police chief’s office at (407) 688-5070 and ask why he didn’t arrest Zimmerman immediately based on the facts – e.g., a stalker’s confronting and shooting death of an unarmed child who was outweighed by 100 pounds – that everyone agrees are undisputed. And call State Attorney Wolfinger at (321) 617-7548 and ask how soon he will file criminal charges based on those and other undisputed facts. Also, call U.S. Attorney Robert O’Neill at (813) 274-6000 and ask him how soon he will file civil rights violation charges based on those and other undisputed facts.

Michael Coard is a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney, community activist, founding member of Avenging the Ancestors Coalition and self-described angriest Black man in America. He also teaches at Temple University and writes about race, politics and the American justice system for the Philly Post, where this story first appeared. He can be reached at

Editors note: Events in solidarity with Trayvon Martin across the country are listed at


22 thoughts on “Trayvon Martin murdered twice, first by a racist criminal, then by a racist criminal system

  1. OncomingStorm

    As you throw around the "white privilege" argument, please remember tha George Zimmerman is apparently Hispanic, according to his family.

    1. Lorena

      The term of 'white privilege' was provided as an example hence the denotation of "i.e.". Additionally white privilege does not have to mean WHITE but rather the construction of the racial narrative within the United States of the black and white dichotomy. While Zimmerman's family self-defines, and this I have not checked, as Hispanic bear in mind that again the notion here is of the construction of Black as the quintessential and most problematic "other".

    2. Miranda

      You oh so conveniently point out he's hispanic but has a white father who is a judge :/. So let's get it straig before you want to pile all "minorites" into one category, he's of another race opposite of the young man he killed, and obviously has a deep rooted hatred to refer to them as f&*^%$ COONS :/

      1. Oaklander

        Barak Obama's mother is white too. I hate to complicate things, but all this me versus you crap is old. Yeah, have at you, sfbayview, quite a few whites in your supporting protest photos. The political landscape is not simple. In fact, if you really want to effect change, attack simple. Destroy stereotypes.

  2. MMulligan

    My heart breaks for this family. Trayvon was murdered! This "psycho cop wanna be" took things way too far. Thinking that his "criminal justice class" and "stand your ground law" could allow him to commit murder is just sickening. If law enforcement allows him to use these excuses to commit murder, then the justice system is broken beyond repair. Prayers going up for Trayvon's parents and family. I am so for your loss. :(

    1. Oaklander

      Zimmerman was instructed to not follow Martin by the police dispatcher. He said no.
      Martin was instructed to run by his girlfriend. He said no.
      Oh yes, they fought. A cop wanna-be and NO LIMIT NIGGA.

      Happens all the time, every day in every city, called Black on Black crime, when a gun is trump.
      If your heart broke for every person murdered in 2012 in the United States, and most of them are Black, it would be finer than regolith, and twice as abrasive.

    1. Oaklander

      Teen aged punks are present in every culture; it is a phase of life. I made explosives, but survived interrogation, not a Zimmerman in sight, but some very pissed off adults.



  3. Jamal Ellis

    Your article has quite a bit of incorrect information. This young man was not a good student, in fact he was currently suspended from school for violating the schools illegal drug policy. Sporting a gold grill, at least one large tattoo that is commonly worn by gang bangers, and a twitter account titled "No Limit Nigga" , this young man was anything but a model student. Students that physically assault their school bus drivers generally speaking have anger issues. From all the evidence collected by the Police, it appears as though Trayvon attacked Mr. Zimmerman. Too bad for Trayvon that his victim was armed and protected himself.



  4. Trayvon Martin

    Jamal Ellis, I can tell that you and the blood thirst Zimmerman are related through your ideology for stalking and murdering the innocent. you are a disgrace to the human race. However, I am praying for you that what happen to the innocent boy does not happen to either you, or any of your family members…even though a part of me would love for it to happen to you so that you can feel the pain the poor family is going through.

    1. Mike

      Great point Sista Souljah. You are praying that it doesn't happen, but would LOVE IT if it did? If another 'innocent child' was gunned down so that Mr. Ellis would feel the same despair? What is it exactly that you are praying to with that thought?

      Yikes…you are either very confused or just not very bright.

  5. Trayvon Martin

    Jamal Ellis, where were you the night I was stalked and murdered because of the colour of my skin ?? How could I attacked a man that is twice my size with a pack of sweet and a tin of juice…knowing that he was armed with a gun and could have strangled me with his one hand.

    Zimmerman thought he could have murdered me and cite the stand your ground statute and got a way with it.But he and people like tou Ellis have underestimate the voice of the black, white and all the other race you can think of. My death will haunt your blood sucking friend until the day he died.

  6. Jamal Elis

    To Answer your question, nigger, I was at your moms house fucking her in the ass. Rest in Hell, Nigger

  7. JoeyJ

    Perhaps the parents could have taken their eyes off the game for a few minutes and paid attention to all the police cars and commotion right outside their door. Also might be a good idea for folks to stop bonding with the voice screaming on the ground and ask why the person was screaming.

  8. LexL

    Word is that Zimmerman helped raise awareness and otherwise sought answers in the Sherman Ware case. Is that consistent with the characterization of racist vigilante?

  9. Concerned

    Don't be passing judgement until all the facts are in.
    Don't be lazy and think as you're told.
    Innocent until proven guilt, remember?

    You are not machines. Don't think like one.
    "You will recall the incident of the beating of the black homeless man Sherman Ware on December 4, 2010 by the son of a Sanford police officer. The beating sparked an outrage in the community but there were very few that stepped up to do anything about it. I would presume the inaction was because of the fact that he was homeless not because he was black. Do you know the individual that stepped up when no one else in the black community would? Do you know who spent tireless hours putting flyers on the cars of persons parked in the churches of the black community? Do you know who waited for the church]goers to get out of church so that he could hand them fliers in an attempt to organize the black community against this horrible miscarriage of justice? Do you know who helped organize the City Hall meeting on January 8th, 2011 at Sanford City Hall?? That person was GEORGE ZIMMERMAN. Ironic isn’t it?"

    "NBC News is being excoriated in some circles – with competitor Fox News Channel leading the charge – for selectively editing audio of the 911 call placed by George Zimmerman just before he killed Trayvon Martin."


    Read, think. act.

  10. Richard Blaine

    Look at this work of complete fiction with what’s known about the case now. Zimmerman was the one with a fractured nose, bruised face, black eyes and lacerated scalp from Trayvon’s violent unprovoked attack. Zimmerman is the one who, according to the closest eye witness who was on the ground on his back with Trayvon ‘no limit niga’ Martin on top of him beating him. Zimmerman was the one with grass satins on his back while there was none on Trayvon. Trayvon on the other hand was the one with injuries to his knuckles from repeatedly punching Zimmerman in the face. Another dead thug in the ground is a good thing.

  11. Buy Cheap Diablo 3 Gold

    Diablo 3 didn’t deserve a private 8. 5 at all and Gamespot need to do a follow-up article in the world current state of the game, and on the backlash of pissed of shoppers Blizzard has now ended in.


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