Posts Tagged Trayvon Martin

Free Wood Post – George Zimmerman Released From Jail After Claiming He Had A Headache

George Zimmerman Released From Jail After Claiming He Had A Headache

April 12, 2012

By Corey Banks

The Sanford Police Department is being criticized again, this time for letting George Zimmerman, who is being charged with Second Degree Murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, leave the prison after complaining of minor head pain.

In a statement released by the Sanford Police Department, they stated;

“We’re still looking into this incident, and if it turns out that Zimmerman did not actually have a headache we’ll make sure to take him back into custody at some point.”

After being released, Zimmerman immediately updated his website, to solicit donations for aspirin. According to Zimmerman’s website;

“I have a really, really bad headache right now. I’m not sure what it’s from, but it’s hard to live dealing with this annoying pain. I’m requesting donations for aspirin, as well as donations so that I can go to the doctor and try to get a prescription for something stronger, like Vicodin or Percoset.”


Free Wood Post has obtained an EXCLUSIVE comment from the guard who signed off on Zimmerman’s release;

“This whole thing is pretty appalling, and I feel absolutely terrible about this. I’ve never felt this terrible about something I’ve done. I couldn’t even get the poor guy an aspirin, and you could tell that his headache was making him moderately uncomfortable. The poor guy can’t even afford an aspirin.”

We asked him if he felt he made a mistake, by releasing Zimmerman, and he stated “you have no idea how hard it is living with a headache. It makes you feel like your life is over.”

 Free Wood Post.

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The killing of Trayvon Martin: Shoddy police work – PostPartisan – The Washington Post

Posted at 04:00 PM ET, 05/17/2012

The killing of Trayvon Martin: Shoddy police work

By Jonathan Capehart


The New York Times had another story on its front page that isn’t getting nearly as much attention as it should. “Trayvon Martin Case Shadowed by Series of Police Missteps” answers a few of the questions I posed during the height of the controversy in March. But the story is a gasp-worthy read that will leave you wondering if justice might truly be served.

During the uproar over the lack of an arrest of George Zimmerman for killing Martin, every devotee of “CSI,” “Law & Order” and “Matlock” were banging their heads into inanimate objects because of what appeared to be obvious shoddy police work. Now, the Times documents just how shoddy.

On the night of the shooting, door-to-door canvassing was not exhaustive enough, said a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation. . . .

The vehicle that Mr. Zimmerman was driving when he first spotted Mr. Martin was mistakenly not secured by officers as part of the crime scene. … A law enforcement official said officers did not seize Mr. Zimmerman’s vehicle because they thought that he had been on foot. They did not realize that he had been driving until after his wife had moved the vehicle, the official said.

The police were not able to cover the crime scene to shield evidence from the rain, and any blood from cuts that Mr. Zimmerman suffered when he said Mr. Martin pounded his head into a sidewalk may have been washed away.

The official said he believed that the police, in the hours after the shooting, sought to determine whether Mr. Zimmerman was wanted for any crimes. But he said they did not have a complete background check in hand until midmorning the next day — after Mr. Zimmerman had been released.

I’m happy that Zimmerman’s fate has moved out of the court of public opinion and into a court of law. But that venue works with evidence. And the revelations in the Times story make me worry about the wheels of justice turning effectively.

 The killing of Trayvon Martin: Shoddy police work – PostPartisan – The Washington Post.

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Don’t rush to judgment in Trayvon case? That’s moral cowardice – Leonard Pitts Jr. –

Don’t rush to judgment in Trayvon case? That’s moral cowardice  



Once upon a time in the late ’90s, a certain black newswoman was awarded her own column. She wrote 12 pieces, three of them about race. That was too many for her boss, who told her to tone it down. Confused, she went to a white colleague for advice. He explained that, being black, she lacked the judgment to decide if a given racial matter merited a column. In the future, he suggested, if she saw some racial issue she thought worth writing about, she should bring it to him and let him decide.

That paternalistic offer is brought to mind by a recent on air statement from Tamara Holder, a contributor to Fox “News,” about the killing of Trayvon Martin. “The blacks,” she told Sean Hannity, “are making this more of a racial issue than it should be.”

One is reminded that the more things change, the more they don’t. One wonders how much of a racial issue Trayvon’s death should be, in Ms. Holder’s esteemed opinion.

There is a storyline coalescing here among conservative pundits. From Holder to Hannity to William Bennett to my colleague, Glenn Garvin, it says there’s been a “rush to judgment” against George Zimmerman, the man who stalked and killed an unarmed 17-year-old black kid he found suspicious.

Candidly, there is good reason to fear such a rush. Anyone who remembers the Tawana Brawley hoax and the Duke Lacrosse case, among others, knows many African Americans have proven prone to jumping to conclusions of racism even when the evidence thereof is dubious. Some black folks see racial mistreatment everywhere, always.

But some white folks see it nowhere — ever. That’s a corollary truth that seems apropos to this moment. Indeed, when a black man named Abner Louima was maimed in an act of broomstick sodomy by New York Police, Holder’s friend Hannity accused Louima of lying. Don’t rush to judgment, he warned.

For some people, that is less sage advice than default response. The Rodney King beating, said former Los Angeles Police chief Daryl Gates, “did look like racism,” but wasn’t. “This is not a racial issue,” said a school official in Louisiana after six black kids were charged with attempted murder for a schoolyard fight with a white classmate.

And so on.

There is a line — subjective but, there, just the same — between avoiding a rush to judgment and avoiding judgment itself. If rushing to judgment suggests a reflexiveness that ill serves the cause of justice, refusing to judge suggests a moral cowardice that does the same.

Where this case is concerned, it is telling that judgments made weeks after the fact are being called rushed. The rapid response nature of media being what it is, we make judgments everyday based on much less than five weeks of reflection. We do this on matters of economics, war, politics, scandal.

But, of course, race is different. It scares some of us, particularly when it requires them to concede the continued existence of injustices they would rather deny. They are aided in this denial by a naïve belief that a thing can’t truly be racist unless it is wearing a pointed hood or spouting epithets.

But racial bias is seldom so conveniently obvious. More often, it lurks behind smiles and handshakes, unknown sometimes even to its host. More often it is deduced, not declared, seen in excuses that don’t add up, justifications that make no sense, logic that is not.

As in Zimmerman’s decision to stalk Trayvon. Five weeks later, for all the back and forth, push and pull, no one has yet explained what the boy did that made him suspicious. Five weeks later, the initial conclusion still feels like the right one: Trayvon did not seem suspicious because of what he did but because of what he was.

So fine, let us not rush to judgment. But let’s not rush from it, either.

 Don’t rush to judgment in Trayvon case? That’s moral cowardice – Leonard Pitts Jr. –

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Trayvon ‘killed by a stereotype’ – Leonard Pitts Jr. –

Posted on Saturday, 05.05.12


Trayvon ‘killed by a stereotype’




I don’t care about George Zimmerman’s MySpace page.

Granted, it was gratifying to read recently in The Miami Herald about his crude animus toward Mexicans (“soft ass wanna be thugs”) and his reference to a former girlfriend as an “ex-hoe.” Given the way white supremacists and other Zimmerman supporters have exaggerated and manufactured evidence to paint Zimmerman’s unarmed 17-year-old victim, Trayvon Martin, as a thug who somehow deserved shooting, this unflattering portrait offers the same satisfaction one feels any time the goose is basted with sauce that was prepared for the gander.

But ultimately, Zimmerman’s online profile is as irrelevant as Trayvon’s to any real understanding of the social dynamics that were at play the night the boy was shot to death. Worse, our fixation on this ephemera, the need on the one hand to make Trayvon some dark gangsta straight from Central Casting and on the other to find a Klan hood in the back of Zimmerman’s closet, suggests a shallow, even naïve, understanding of the role race seems to have played in this tragedy.

The pertinent fact is that Zimmerman found Trayvon suspicious because, as he told the 911 dispatcher, the boy was walking slowly and looking around. That might be the behavior of a boy who was turned around in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Or of a boy enjoying a cell phone conversation with a girl and not overly eager to return to where his sweet nothings might be overheard by his dad.

That no such alternate possibilities seem to have occurred to Zimmerman for even an instant suggests the degree to which we as a people have grown comfortable with the belief that black is crime and crime is black. Nor are African Americans immune to the effects of that invidious formulation.

Indeed, the dirty little secret of the Martin killing is that Zimmerman could easily have been black. True, a black Zimmerman probably would not have been sent home by prosecutors who declined to press charges — whiteness still has its privileges — but otherwise, yes. It is entirely possible.

Why not? Blacks watch the same TV news as anyone else. We internalize the same message. We drink the same poison.

Why else do you think black folk flinch when the mug shot goes up on television, hoping the face will not be brown — as if we bore some communal responsibility for the suspect’s misdeeds? Why else do you think so much of our music is a song of violence and crime? Why else, when I ask an auditorium full of black kids how frequently the individual who murders a white person is black, do they figure it at 75 percent? Why else are they shocked to hear it’s only 13?

At some subterranean level, we — African Americans — still believe the garbage of innate criminality we have so assiduously been fed, and struggle with hating ourselves, as America long ago taught us to do. We struggle with it, yet we know better from firsthand, man-in-the-mirror experience. So how much harder is the struggle for white folks?

This is why I grow impatient with those — black, white and otherwise — who think the salient social issue here is George Zimmerman’s character. It is not. Nor is it Trayvon’s.

It is, rather, that ours is a nation so obscenely comfortable in conflating black with crime that a civilian carrying no badge of authority nevertheless feels it his right to require that an American boy walking lawfully upon a public street justify his presence there. And it is the knowledge that at least some black men would have done the same.

To make this about Zimmerman is to absolve the rest of us for maintaining a society that, in ways both overt and covert, still makes criminality a function of skin. Trayvon Martin was killed by a stereotype. George Zimmerman is just the guy who fired the gun.

 Trayvon ‘killed by a stereotype’ – Leonard Pitts Jr. –

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Playing the Violence Card –

Playing the Violence Card

Published: April 5, 2012


EVER since the culture wars of the 1980s, Americans have been familiar with “the race card” — an epithet used to discredit real and imagined cries of racism. Less familiar, however, is an equally cynical rhetorical tactic that I call “the violence card.”


Topos Graphics

Here’s how it works. When confronted with an instance of racially charged violence against a black person, a commentator draws attention to the fact that there is much more black-on-black violence than white-on-black violence. To play the violence card — as many criminal-justice advocates have done since the Rodney King police brutality case of the early 1990s — is to suggest that black people should worry more about the harm they do to themselves and less about how victimized they are by others.

The national outrage over the Trayvon Martin case has prompted some recent examples. Last week, the journalist Juan Williams wrote in The Wall Street Journal of the “tragedy” of Trayvon’s death but wondered “what about all the other young black murder victims? Nationally, nearly half of all murder victims are black. And the overwhelming majority of those black people are killed by other black people.” During a debate about the case on Sunday on an ABC News program, the commentator George F. Will argued that the “root fact” is that “about 150 black men are killed every week in this country — and 94 percent of them by other black men.”

For Mr. Williams, Mr. Will and countless others playing the violence card, the real issue has little to do with racist fears or police practices — even though those would seem to be the very issues at hand.

It’s true that black-on-black violence is an exceptionally grave problem. But this does not explain the allure of the violence card, which perpetuates the reassuring notion that violence against black people is not society’s concern but rather a problem for black people to fix on their own. The implication is that the violence that afflicts black America reflects a failure of lower-class black culture, a breakdown of personal responsibility, a pathological trait of a criminally inclined subgroup — not a problem with social and institutional roots that needs to be addressed through collective effort well beyond the boundaries of black communities.

But perhaps the large scale of black-on-black violence justifies playing the violence card? Not if you recall how Americans responded to high levels of white-on-white violence in the past.

Consider the crime waves of 1890 to 1930, when millions of poor European immigrants came to America only to be trapped in inner-city slums, suffering the effects of severe economic inequality and social marginalization. Around the turn of the century, the Harvard economist William Ripley described the national scene: “The horde now descending upon our shores is densely ignorant, yet dull and superstitious withal; lawless, with a disposition to criminality.” But the solution, Ripley argued, was not stigma, isolation and the promotion of fear. “They are fellow passengers on our ship of state,” he wrote, “and the health of the nation depends upon the preservation of the vitality of the lower classes.”

As a spokesman for saving white immigrant communities from the violence within, Ripley was part of a national progressive movement led by Jane Addams, the influential social worker of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the face of grisly, gang-related youth shootings — “duplicated almost every morning,” Addams wrote — she insisted that everyone from the elite to community organizers to police officers had a part to play.

She and other progressives mobilized institutional resources to save killers and the future victims of killers. Violent white neighborhoods were flooded with social workers, police reformers and labor activists committed to creating better jobs and building a social welfare net. White-on-white violence fell slowly but steadily in proportion to economic development and crime prevention.

In almost every way the opposite situation applied to black Americans. Instead of provoking a steady dose of compassionate progressivism, crime and violence in black communities fueled the racist belief that, as numerous contemporaries stated, blacks were their “own worst enemies” — an early version of the violence card. Black people were “criminalized” through various institutions and practices, whether Southern chain gangs, prison farms, convict lease camps and lynching bees or Northern anti-black neighborhood violence and race riots.

Racial criminalization has continued to this day, stigmatizing black people as dangerous, legitimizing or excusing white-on-black violence, conflating crime and poverty with blackness, and perpetuating punitive notions of “justice” — vigilante violence, stop-and-frisk racial profiling and mass incarceration — as the only legitimate responses.

But the past does not have to be the future. The violence card is a cynical ploy that will only contribute to more fear, more black alienation and more violence. Rejecting its skewed logic and embracing a compassionate progressive solution for black crime is our best hope for saving lives and ensuring that young men like Trayvon Martin do not die in vain.

 Playing the Violence Card –

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Florida Police Warn Public Against Taking Law Into Own Hands Unless It’s That Law Specifically Designed For You To Do That | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source

Florida Police Warn Public Against Taking Law Into Own Hands Unless It’s That Law Specifically Designed For You To Do That

APRIL 3, 2012



SANFORD, FL—Amidst the controversy surrounding the recent shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the Sanford Police Department cautioned Florida residents Tuesday against taking the law into their own hands, except when following the state statute that explicitly authorizes people to do so. “Let me be clear: We do not want citizens resorting to deadly force when they believe they’re being threatened—unless, of course, they are following the letter of the law, which says they can resort to deadly force when they believe they’re being threatened,” said interim Sanford police chief Darren Scott, referring to the state’s “Stand Your Ground” rule. “Law enforcement should be left to the police. However, it can also be left to common citizens, since pursuing vigilante justice is perfectly within their legal rights. Have I made myself clear?” After being bombarded with questions about the confusing nature of the law, a flustered Scott said, “Just don’t be racist and kill people, okay?”

 Florida Police Warn Public Against Taking Law Into Own Hands Unless It’s That Law Specifically Designed For You To Do That | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source.

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Trayvon Martin’s death has put spotlight on perceptions about hoodies – The Washington Post

Trayvon Martin’s death has put spotlight on perceptions about hoodies

By Katherine Boyle, Published: March 25

“Did you see what he was wearing?” asked the voice.

“A dark hoodie, like a gray hoodie,” George Zimmerman told the 911 operator moments before he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, whom he described as “real suspicious.”


Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tells Norah O'Donnell on "Face the Nation" he will ask the Justice Department to increase its investigation of the fatal shooting of a Florida teenager, and calls for Congress to examine "Stand Your Ground" laws.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tells Norah O’Donnell on “Face the Nation” he will ask the Justice Department to increase its investigation of the fatal shooting of a Florida teenager, and calls for Congress to examine “Stand Your Ground” laws.


President Obama spoke on the Trayvon Martin shooting briefly while announcing his nomination for the new head of the World Bank.

President Obama spoke on the Trayvon Martin shooting briefly while announcing his nomination for the new head of the World Bank.


Out of tragedy, the utilitarian hooded sweatshirt, which first gained popularity in the 1930s as a practical pullover for workingmen, has emerged as a Rorschach test of racial perceptions. 


On Sunday, many preachers and their congregations attended services wearing hoodies in a show of solidarity with the slain teen.

On Friday, LeBron James of the Miami Heat tweeted a photo of the basketball team, wearing hoodies and with heads bowed, alongside the hashtag “WeWantJustice.”

The same day, Fox News commentatorGeraldo Rivera ignited widespread criticismfor saying on the “Fox & Friends” morning show that “The hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.” He continued his assault on “The O’Reilly Factor,” warning parents of black and Hispanic youths not to allow their sons to wear hooded sweatshirts.

“Who else wears hoodies?” he asked. “Everybody that ever stuck up a convenience store; D.B. Cooper, the guy that hijacked a plane; Ted Kaczynski the Unabomber.”

And Daniel Maree, 24, who spearheaded Wednesday’s“Million Hoodie March” in New York — which was followed by rallies in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit and Washington — said he wanted to draw attention not just to Martin’s death, but to the hoodie and all it represents.

“I’ve had experiences where I’ve been walking down the street in New York, and as an African American man in a hoodie, I can tell you it’s seen as in­cred­ibly suspicious,” said Maree, a digital strategist in New York. “Some people hold their purses a little tighter. When I heard Trayvon was wearing a hoodie, I thought, ‘I’ve felt this before.’ ”

So how did this ubiquitous garment — worn by college students and soccer moms, skateboarders and kids on the street — come to be associated with sinister activity?

“Most pieces of material culture have symbolic qualities associated with them,” said Darnell Hunt, professor of sociology and director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. “The hoodie is a pretty generic piece of clothing, but because of the contexts and the groups it’s associated with, it took on different meanings. Just like sagging pants, it was a macho, street-swagger symbol of hip-hop culture, even though it originated in medieval Europe.”

A history of the hoodie

Hoods were worn by monks and scholars in the Middle Ages. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has a child’s hooded tunic that dates back to the seventh century. Dante Alighieri, the 14th-century Florentine poet who wrote “The Divine Comedy,” is rarely depicted without his hood. In some climates, the hood was used to contain body heat, while in Northern Africa’s Maghreb region, the unisex djellaba, a long robe with a pointed hood, is still worn to protect the wearer from the sand and sun. And it could always be used to conceal the identity of the wearer.

The hooded sweatshirt was commercialized in the 1930s by Champion, the American sportswear company, to protect workingmen from the elements. And Daniel James Cole, professor of fashion history at the Fashion Institute of Technology, says that later in that decade, American high fashion adopted the hood: “The American designer Claire McCardell popularized it for women in the early 1940s. One really popular coat style was an A-line swing coat with the hood on it, and there were hooded playsuits and even hooded wedding dresses.”

It wasn’t until the mid-1970s, when Rocky Balboa wore a hooded sweatshirt while running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in “Rocky,”that the hooded sweatshirt with its convenient front pocket became a hallmark of unisex sportswear. In the 1990s, hip-hop artists and street culture adopted it as the street-wear uniform of choice — and the term “hoodie” became commonplace, according to Merriam Webster, in 1992.


 “Hip-hop culture took it from general vernacular clothing and certainly increased. . . its popularity,” Cole said. “It became cool, and fashion adopted it soon after. You have sleeveless hoodies, which takes away the idea of wearing a hood for warmth. It’s become vernacular.”

Since designers such as Tommy Hilfiger popularized them in the mid-1990s, hoodies sell at all price points, at both Neiman Marcus and Wal-Mart. A hooded jacket by Altuzarra will cost you $2,495. They know no class or cultural borders. Some schools, including several in D.C., have banned the garment for its sloppiness or because it’s a convenient way to hide contraband items or test answers. They’re worn by gangsters, rappers, surfers, skaters and athletes; indie rock fans wear hoodies almost as often as they wear Chuck Taylors; and hoodies have been preppified by brands such as Hollister, a popular teen label Martin wore in a photo released by his parents.

In parts of New Zealand and Australia, there are “Hoodie Free Zones” enforced by store owners and malls to thwart shoplifters. They became a political symbol in the summer during the United Kingdom riots, and in 2006, Prime Minister David Cameron gave a speech claiming, “For young people, hoodies are often more defensive than offensive.” The speech has since been dubbed Cameron’s “hug-a-hoodie” speech.

Cozy and casual, hoodies are called “bunny hugs” in parts of Canada.

Its changing meaning

Still the garment’s meaning remains mixed. Even the word “hoodie” has echoes of racial overtones, differentiated only by prepositions and suffixes. In the hood. From the hood. Hoodlum, derived from “hudelum,” found in a 19th-century German dialect, meaning ruffian.

By concealing the wearer’s identity, a hood can seem sinister: Hooded white men killed black men long before Martin died.

“I think that’s one of the reasons it acquired a sinister connotation,” Hunt said. “It has inherent qualities of mystery and anxiety. You put a hood on and you’re anonymous. The KKK, for example, wore hoods for all those reasons.”

But the shift from Rocky’s triumph to what some see as a threat was recent. Hunt believes that films such as “Menace II Society” and “South Central,” which followed the 1992 Los Angeles riots, propagated the image of the hoodie as a symbol of urban rebellion.

“Things preexist the meanings they acquire,” Hunt said. “Black people have endured the perception that people have about criminality. There’s certain beliefs that some people have about young black men that often lead them to fear them, unjustified. It stands to reason that the hoodie as a style and symbol changed when young black men chose to wear it . . .White youths and older folks in hoodies have relatively benign meanings.”

Denis Wilson noticed the hoodie’s symbolic evolution in 2006. The Philadelphia-based journalist wrote a piece on the hoodie for the New York Times after a friend asked him, “Are you trying to be a gangster?” when he went to a nightclub wearing one.

“Because I’m white, I thought the hoodie was skater,” Wilson said. “But I went back through the history, and I saw the shift when graffiti artists used it to shroud themselves when tagging trains. There’s a connection to the more violent overtones of hip-hop. To ignore the violence in NWA and 50 Cent is silly, but it’s absolutely stupid to think of the hoodie as dangerous. There are hoodies made for nursing mothers.”

In light of Martin’s death, Maree hopes the hoodie — whoever is wearing it — will become a symbol of progress, reminding us of the power of perception and the symbolism we assign to everyday objects.

“I’ll never think of a hoodie the same way I used to,” Maree said. “While I didn’t think about this on the outset, it’s become a way to confront our initial or subliminal reactions to race. It’s subconscious, but when people start to confront their initial reactions, we’ll see progress.”

 Trayvon Martin’s death has put spotlight on perceptions about hoodies – The Washington Post.

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