“What are you following me for?”
Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend says the 17-year old told her he was being followed. The conversation took place on his cell phone shortly before he was shot and killed by admitted gunman 28-year old George Zimmermann, the neighborhood watch captain with a criminal assault history.
In a recent news account of Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend testimony to attorneys, she shares details of her conversation:
“He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man,” said the girlfriend, who’s identity has been kept anonymous. “I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run.”
Although he did run, and thought he had escaped, he later told his girlfriend that the strange man came back and was cornering him.
“Trayvon said, ‘What, are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.’ Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell. I called him again and he didn’t answer the phone.”
Yesterday, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said it will join the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida and the FBI in a joint investigation “into the facts and circumstances of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.”
A DOJ statement read, that “the department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation.”
One critical point in the DOJ investigation is that the government has the burden of proving “beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted intentionally and with the specific intent to do something which the law forbids.”
It may embolden Martin’s parents and those who are calling the Trayvon Martin case a gross miscarriage. The Sanford, Florida police took Zimmerman’s word that he shot Martin in self defense, and relied on an obscure, yet controversial Florida law called “Stand Your Ground.” Apparently, the law insulates those committing homicide if they claim they were acting in self defense. Some reports say that the Sanford police also violated protocol by not checking if Zimmerman was drunk or on drugs, which is standard for homicide investigations. And some 911 call reports suggest he was slurring his speech and might have been intoxicated.
Beyond the normal expression of condolences, the White House has refused to comment on the case, stating it is an ongoing investigation. Also, perhaps the President may have learned his lesson after his 2009 comment that a Cambridge, Massachusetts police officer acted “stupidly” when he arrested Black Harvard Professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates in front of his home.