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Prayer Vigil for Trayvon Martin in Tallahassee - SLIDESHOW

By: Margie Menzel, The News Service of Florida; Eyewitness News Email
By: Margie Menzel, The News Service of Florida; Eyewitness News Email

Tallahassee, FL March 22, 2012

Community members say they are disgusted that it's been almost a month and the shooter has not been arrested for killing unarmed Trayvon Martin.

Akin Akinyemi, Leon County Commissioner, says, "These assaults on young black men need to stop."

A group of religious and community leaders and members joined hands in front of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee Thursday...

The group prayed for the parents of Trayvon Martin...the 17-year-old who was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida on February 26th.

"We pray for their peace of mind and their peace of heart."

Authorities say George Zimmerman--a self-appointed community watchman--shot Martin. Many reports say it's because he thought Martin looked suspicious while walking in the Central Florida neighborhood.

Zimmerman was not arrested.

"We pray for their peace of mind and their peace of heart."

Authorities say George Zimmerman--a self-appointed community watchman--shot Martin. Many reports say it's because he thought Martin looked suspicious while walking in the Central Florida neighborhood.

Zimmerman was not arrested.

"This is so sad, this is so unfair; and we have to change that."

Many are outraged by the possiblity of Florida's Stand Your Ground Law being applied in Martin's case...

The law allows a person to use deadly force when threatened.

Former FL state representative Curtis Richardson adds, "This law was actually passed during my tenure in in the legislature. But, it was never the intent that it be used to justify obvious murder in this case."

Reverand Lee Richardson says, "If they can do it to Tryavon, they can do it to our kids. That's why we're here to stand up and stand firm, to say that we are not going to allow a murderer to walk free."

Tallahassee resident Grizal Ipek says, "Let's get united in this thing and let's get tyhe law right, because it is time for justice."

The group also prayed for all young people in the community ... Members say Trayvon Martin is a larger representation of the inequalities and injustices they see in our justice system every day.

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[UPDATE] TALLAHASSEE, March 22, 2012 - Noon -

The case of an unarmed Florida teenager gunned down by a member of a neighborhood watch group is getting attention across the nation. That includes a march in New York and a petition for justice signed by more than a million people.

Eyewitness News reporter Lanetra Bennett was at Tabernacle Church in Tallahassee where a prayer vigil was held today.

See her interview below.

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[UPDATE] THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, March 22, 2012

Margie Menzel, The News Service of Florida

Black lawmakers Wednesday called on Gov. Rick Scott to appoint a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation of Trayvon Martin's death in Sanford last month.

The unarmed black 17-year-old was shot on Feb. 26 by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, who is claiming self-defense and has not been charged.

Martin's family has maintained all along that Zimmerman should be charged, and state Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, agreed, saying that if Martin had been white and Zimmerman black, Zimmerman would have been arrested by now.

Siplin said Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger, who said this week that a grand jury will review evidence in the case, should step aside because he regularly deals with the local sheriff.

"Were not contesting the veracity of the current prosecutor, buthe has a relationship with the sheriffs department, the police department and the city of Sanford, and we think he should step down," Siplin said.

Siplin also announced a senatorial fact-finding mission to Sanford. He said he will be joined by two other black senators, Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, whose district includes the home of Martin's mother, and Sen. Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale, who will be the Senate Democratic leader next year, along with three white Republicans: Sens. Joe Negron of Stuart, Lizbeth Benacquisto of Fort Myers and Ronda Storms of Valrico. The group will examine the status of African Americans in Sanford within the next month, Siplin said.

Siplin, who is leaving the Senate in November because of term limits, alleged that in Sanford, whites and blacks are not treated equally by law enforcement.

"The police [have] a history of stopping black folks and taking their fingerprints, or searching their cars without permission. You either let them take your fingerprints, or they threaten to take you to jail," said Siplin.

The Seminole County State Attorneys Office and the Sanford Police Department did not immediately return calls for comment.

The shooting death and Zimmerman's self-defense claim have reopened debate over the 2005 "stand your ground law"," under which people who feel threatened don't have to retreat from their attacker before using violence.

Braynon said he believed the law had "empowered people to become vigilantes."

Meanwhile, Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Plantation, sent a letter to House Speaker Dean Cannon, requesting that a select committee be formed to review the self defense law.

"While no action of any governmental entity can restore the life of Trayvon Martin, I believe it is imperative that the Florida Legislature take this matter seriously and action be taken to prevent future tragedies of this kind," Thurston wrote.

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[UPDATE] THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, March 21, 2012

Margie Menzel, The News Service of Florida

As the white-hot center of national scrutiny centered on last months killing of an unarmed teen in Sanford, Florida, the state's self defense law, particularly its "stand your ground" proposition, needs a fresh look, black lawmakers said Tuesday.

Gov. Rick Scott said the facts need to be understood first, but didn't dismiss the idea of a new look at the state's stand-your-ground law. Meanwhile, officials said a grand jury next month will have a look at the case.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are investigating the Feb. 26 death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer while visiting his father's girlfriend's house in a gated community. George Zimmerman, 28, is claiming self-defense and has not been charged although Seminole County state attorney Norm Wolfinger said Tuesday he would bring the case before a grand jury on April 10.

Since Martin, who was black, was shot, there have been national calls for an arrest, especially after a 911 tape was released in which police are heard telling Zimmerman not to track Martins movements.

Are you following him? asked the dispatcher. Yeah, Zimmerman replied. Okay, we don't need you to do that, said the dispatcher. Okay, Zimmerman said.

Subsequent 911 calls included sounds of screams that ended with a gunshot. A young woman who was talking with Martin just before his death according to cell phone records told ABC News that he'd said he was being followed. "He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on," she said. The 16-year-old, who doesn't want to be named, said she then heard Martin say, "What are you following me for?" and the man reply, "What are you doing around here?"

In 2005, lawmakers changed the state's self defense law, allowing people to "stand their ground" and shoot at people who they believe are threatening them, without having any duty to first retreat.

With the Martin shooting getting national attention, that law was being debated all over again this week. The Legislature's black caucus is considering several responses, from pushing for a repeal of the law, to a call for statewide hearings on the issue.

Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, said Sen. Chris Smith, the Senate Democratic Leader-designate, will file legislation "to tamp it down so the least incident doesn't lead one to believe that they've got to pull their gun and shoot somebody We really need to take a second look at this law." Sen. Oscar Braynon, a Democrat from Miami Gardens, where Martin's mother lives, also called for a new look at the law.

But former state Sen. Durell Peaden, the Panhandle Republican who sponsored the 2005 legislation, scoffed at the notion that it was even applicable in this case.

"This guy chasing someone down and shooting him that has nothing to do with this law," Peaden said. "Its somebody trying to forestall arrest."

Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala who sponsored the stand-your-ground law in the House, also said it wasn't intended for cases involving pursuit.

"Nothing in that statute authorizes people to pursue and confront people," Baxley said. "Thats the problem in this case."

Baxley said the law covers home invasion, carjacking, and cases of clear self-protection.

Some said the measure was essentially an expansion of the "Castle Doctrine," which holds that a person's home is their castle and they have a right to defend it. Under the law now, the castle also could include a car, or someones personal space, if they're legitimately threatened.

"If you're anywhere you have a right to be and you're under attack, you have the authority to meet force with force and defend yourself," said Baxley.

Former state Sen. Steven Geller, however, recalled his prediction in the 2005 debate over the law, when he warned it laid the groundwork for unjustifiable homicide.

"We never intended that the public street is supposed to be your castle," he said. We never intended that you could create a situation and then claim you were scared.

Baxley said its important to look at the big picture.

"The fact is, under this statute, we've seen a tremendous reduction in violent crime," he said. "When you empower people to stop bad things from happening, they will. And they do. And that's what the bill did."

Braynon is calling for hearings and a study of how the law has been implemented and applied.
"This law was never intended to be a blanket of protection for community vigilantes who think they can bypass law enforcement instructions and shoot anyone they see fit," Braynon said in a statement. "We know that racial profiling exists It shouldn't be that, if you feel intimidated by someone, you can pull a gun and shoot them? Thats not the kind of law we need."

While Scott said there's still information to be gathered, he didn't dismiss the idea that the self defense law may need another look.

"And once we finish this investigation, if there's something that we need to adjust, I'm hopeful that the Legislature would be interested in taking that up," Scott told reporters.

Joyner, meanwhile, criticized Scott for waiting until Mar. 19 to ask FDLE to help investigate the Feb. 26 death.

"The governor should have been leading the charge, and not waiting to be driven by the people and by the Department of Justice," said Joyner.

Also Tuesday, about 50 protesters showed up at Scott's office at the Capitol, demanding "Justice for Trayvon." Scott met with them, but said he doesn't want to create a racial profiling task force, as they requested at least while the investigation is active.

"None of us believe in racial profiling," Scott said. "But I think the first thing is: lets find out what happened."

Peaden said he hopes the FDLE and FBI "and whatever special prosecutor the governor puts on this thing will do what needs to be done instead of everybody standing around wringing their hands.

"Put the guy in jail. It sounds like he shot a guy who was innocent. That has nothing to do with this law."

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UPDATE: Tallahassee, FL - March 20, 2012

Florida attorneys met with Gov. Rick Scott today after a rally on the steps of Florida's Capitol, requesting a statewide task force on racial profiling.

Please see attached for a copy of the letter.

Also, Sen. Oscar Braynon Calls for Legislative Hearings on Trayvon Martin Shooting.

Please see attached for a copy of the letter sent to Senate President Haridopolos.

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Statement on the Shooting of Trayvon Martin

Tallahassee, FL -- March 20, 2012 --

Attorney General Pam Bondi issued the following statement
regarding the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

“I am both devastated and deeply troubled that young Trayvon Martin lost his life in a shooting. When someone loses his life at the hands of another, there cannot be any questions surrounding the circumstances of the death.

“I have spoken to FDLE Commissioner Bailey, whose agency is now involved, and I know that a complete and thorough review of the facts will be conducted. FDLE has skilled investigators of the highest caliber, and no stone will be left unturned in this investigation. While the Seminole County State Attorney’s Office has the sole authority regarding a charging decision by law, I will remain vigilant in ensuring that questions are answered.”

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UPDATE: Tallahassee, FL - March 20, 2012 - 2:55pm

A crowd of 50-60 has packed the lobby of the Governor's Office, waiting to find out if Governor Rick Scott will be able to meet with them about Trayvon Martin.


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UPDATE: Tallahassee, FL - March 20, 2012 - 1:55pm

(CBS/AP) SANFORD, Fla. -

Federal and local prosecutors are launching parallel investigations into the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen by a neighborhood watch captain as outrage over the case grows.

A central Florida prosecutor's announcement Tuesday that a grand jury will consider evidence in the case came a day after the Justice Department said it would probe the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The moves follow a day of protests calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman, 28, who claims he shot Martin in self-defense during a confrontation last month in a gated community in Sanford, Fla.

A source very close to the investigation told CBS News that Sanford police were under mounting political pressure from the city and the state to submit their case to the state's attorney before they were confident their part of the investigation was complete. Prosecutors will need to re-interview key witnesses.

The source provided additional details about Zimmerman's self-defense claim that he made to police.

Zimmerman spotted Martin as he was patrolling his neighborhood on a rainy evening and called 911 to report a suspicious person. Against the advice of the 911 dispatcher, Zimmerman then followed Martin, who was walking home from a convenience store with a bag of Skittles in his pocket. Police have described Zimmerman as white; his family says he is Hispanic and not racist.

While under questioning, Zimmerman told police he followed the dispatcher's advice and that he turned and began to return to his car when Martin confronted him, according to the source close to the investigation. Martin became violent and punched Zimmerman, he told police. The two got into a scuffle, during which Zimmerman drew his weapon and fired it, he told police.

On Tuesday, attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents Martin's parents, said the teenager was on the phone with his girlfriend back home in Miami when he told her he was being followed. She said Martin told her someone was following him and that he was going to try to lose him. He thought he had lost Zimmerman but hadn't.

"He says, 'Oh he's right behind me, he's right behind me again,'" Crump said the girl told him. "She says run. He says I'm not going to run I'm just going to walk fast. She hears Trayvon say, 'Why are you following me?' Other voice says, 'What are you doing around here?'"

She told Crump they both repeated themselves and then she heard a scuffle begin "because (Martin's) voice changes like something interrupted his speech." She heard an altercation and then the phone call was cut off.

Within moments, according to Crump's timeline, Martin was shot. She didn't hear the gunfire.

Crump is not releasing the girl's name to protect her privacy.

According to the source close to the investigation, authorities have a subpoena for Martin's phone records and are waiting to electronically unlock the phone. Neither the teenage girl nor her parents came forward to offer details to police in the three weeks since the shooting, despite a public plea for information, the source said.

Several investigators don't believe Zimmerman turned back to his car but instead tried to confront or even detain Martin until police arrived, the source said, but police don't have any evidence to prove that. Police conducted a voice stress test two days after the shooting on Zimmerman, which he passed, the source said. Another one is expected to be conducted on him soon, the source said.

Zimmerman is staying at a secure location and has been in daily contact with authorities, the source said.

Crump said he plans to turn over information about the call to federal investigators who are looking into the case.

"The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation," the Justice Department said in an emailed statement.

The federal agency said it is sending its community relations service this week to Sanford to meet with authorities, community officials and civil rights leaders "to address tension in the community."

In a statement released Tuesday, Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger urged the public to be patient as the investigation unfolds. He said grand jurors will meet April 10.

An online petition urging local authorities to prosecute Zimmerman has drawn more than 500,000 signatures at website Change.org

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.

Martin's parents and other advocates have said the shooter would have been arrested had he been black.

"You would think that Sanford is still in the 1800s claiming that this man can call self-defense for shooting an unarmed boy," restaurant owner Linda Tillman said.

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., along with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, had asked the U.S. Department of Justice to review the case.

Late Monday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott directed the state Department of Law Enforcement to help local authorities in their investigation. The governor said in a memo to department Commissioner Gerald Bradley that the circumstances surrounding the death "have caused significant concern within the Sanford community and the state."

Prosecutors can have a hard time making a case if there is no one else around to contradict a person who claims self-defense, said David Hill, a criminal defense attorney in Orlando. So far, Sanford police have said there is no evidence to contradict Zimmerman's claims.

Gun control advocates said the case is emblematic of permissive gun laws in Florida, which was among the first states to allow residents to carry concealed weapons. Florida was the first state to pass a "Stand Your Ground" law, which has been dubbed a "Shoot First" law by gun control advocates.

Currently, about half of all U.S. states have similar laws, said Brian Malte, legislative director of the Brady Campaign, which describes itself as the nation's largest organization dedicated to the prevention of gun violence.

"It's coming to dangerous fruition," Malte said. "There are more states like Florida."

The "Stand Your Ground" law's legislative sponsor, Florida Rep. Dennis Baxley, said it wasn't written to give people the power to pursue and confront others.
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UPDATE: Tallahassee, FL - March 20, 2012 - 1:45pm

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- The attorney for a teenager fatally shot by a neighborhood watch captain says the boy was talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone when the confrontation began.

Attorney Benjamin Crump said Tuesday that 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was talking to the teenage girl as he walked through a central Florida neighborhood on the night of Feb. 26 when he was confronted by George Zimmerman. Crump says Martin told the girl Zimmerman was following him. She heard the beginning of the altercation but not the shooting.

Martin was returning to his father's fiancee's house after buying candy for his younger brother and an iced tea for himself. Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense and hasn't been charged. Martin was unarmed. The FBI, state investigators and Sanford police are investigating.

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) -- A grand jury will convene in central Florida to consider the case of an unarmed black teen who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch captain.

In a statement released Tuesday, Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger urged the public to be patient as the investigation unfolds. He said grand jurors will meet April 10.

The announcement follows the Justice Department's decision to launch an investigation into the February shooting.

Police say 28-year-old George Zimmerman claims he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense during a confrontation in a gated community in Sanford. Police have described Zimmerman as white; his family says he is Hispanic and not racist.

Civil rights activist Al Sharpton is expected to join Sanford city leaders in a Tuesday evening town hall meeting to discuss the investigation.

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UPDATE: Tallahassee, FL - March 20, 2012

The FBI and the U.S. Justice Department are now launching an independent investigation into the shooting of an unarmed teenager in Florida.

17-year old Trayvon Martin was carrying nothing more dangerous than candy when he was gunned down by a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Florida. Weeks later the shooter who claimed self-defense has not been arrested.

On Monday, FAMU and FSU students rallied on campus calling for justice in the case of Trayvon Martin.

The 9-1-1 tape has now been released, and on it you can hear reaction from neighbors who live near the scene of the shooting.

George Zimmerman called police to report a suspicious person. He allegedly ignored advice to not follow Martin and then shot the unarmed man during a confrontation.

Police say they can't arrest Zimmerman because he claims self-defense, a claim supported, they say, by witness accounts and other evidence, including Zimmerman's bloody nose.

Critics say Martin was a victim of racial profiling.

UPDATE: Tallahassee, FL - March 19, 2012

Below is a statement from the Justice Department on the death of Trayvon Martin.

“The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, and the FBI opened an investigation into the facts and circumstances of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation. The department also is providing assistance to and cooperating with the state officials in their investigation into the incident. With all federal civil rights crimes, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted intentionally and with the specific intent to do something which the law forbids – the highest level of intent in criminal law. Negligence, recklessness, mistakes and accidents are not prosecutable under the federal criminal civil rights laws. The Community Relations Service will be in Sanford, Fla., this week to meet with civil rights leaders, community leaders, and local law enforcement to address tension in the community.”

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Tallahassee, FL - March 19, 2012 - 6:45p.m.

Monday, students from FAMU and FSU came together to fight for justice for a teen they've never met.

They chanted "Justice for Trayvon" on the campus of Florida A&M University.

17-year-old Trayvon Martin was walking to a home he was visiting, from a convenience store on February 26.

He was shot and killed by neighborhood watch leader, George Zimmerman in Sanford, FL in Central Florida.

The teen wasn't armed.

He didn't approach Zimmerman.

The shooter hasn't been arrested.

FAMU student, Modjinah Coby is also 17. Hers was one of the voices lifted in unison Monday.

"He was 17 same age as me," said Coby. "About to be at college, experiencing the same things I'm experiencing. We probably had the same mindset."

Part of the protest is about the "Stand Your Ground" law that could protect Zimmerman.

Florida's stand your ground law was passed in 2005. It expands the "castle doctrine" beyond the home. It says a Floridian has no duty to retreat and "the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force,including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm."

It has been argued successfully in at least two deadly shootings in Tallahassee.

Monday's rally came after 911 tapes from February 26, were released late last week.

In them, Zimmerman told a dispatcher he was following someone he thought was suspicious.

He was told to stop, but Zimmerman continued and got out of his SUV to approach Martin.

Zimmerman admits to shooting the teen saying it was in self defense.

Martin was reportedly found with only cash, candy and drink in his pockets when he died.

FSU student Michael Sampson helped organize Monday's demonstration.

Sampson says it could've been him, or a sibling killed without just cause.

"We can't allow this to happen," said Sampson. "We can't stay quiet that this has happened and we have to demand that justice is served."

The state attorney's office has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to help them review the case.

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Students Rally for Justice for Trayvon
by Whitney Ray

Tallahassee, FL -- March 19, 2012 --

The outrage and passion unleashed on FAMU’s campus Monday, began on February 26th, with a 911 call.

“This guy looks like he is up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something,” said George Zimmerman in a 911 recording released this weekend.

That’s the voice of 28 year old George Zimmerman a neighborhood watchmen. He was following 17 year old Trayvon Martin. Martin was in the neighborhood visiting family. A dispatcher told Zimmerman to stay in his car.

New callers witnessed Zimmerman catch up to Trayvon. Moments later shots rang out and more 911 calls poured in. Zimmerman was question by police, but never arrested. The 911 recordings were released this weekend.

“It just sounded horrific,” said FAMU Senior Ciara Taylor.

“It broke me. It broke my heart to hear that going on,” said Sr. Antonio Hairston.

FAMU Students who heard the recordings rallied on campus, calling for Zimmerman’s arrest. And Monday’s action is just the beginning. Students say if Zimmerman isn’t arrested, they’ll hold a sit-in in the governor’s office, rally at the capitol and maybe even visit Sanford.

They say Governor Rick Scott needs to take action.

“He has stayed silent for a month after this kid was murdered in cold blood,” said Taylor.

One student asked the crowd if they knew someone who was killed and no action was taken, almost everyone raised a hand.

We asked the governor’s office if they planned to intervene in the Martin case. They responded with this statement. “Governor Scott’s heart goes out to Trayvon’s family and the community. At this time, the investigation is being handled by the proper authorities with the State Attorney’s office. Governor Scott has no plans to interfere with that investigation.”

–Lane Wright,
EOG Spokesman

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March 19, 2012 - Noon -

A 17 year old was shot and killed near his home and the man who confessed to the shooting hasn't been arrested. FAMU and FSU students are rallying around the movement being named "Justice for Trayvon Martin."

Trayvon Martin was walking back from a convenience store near his home in Central Florida in late February when a neighborhood watch leader approached him and ended up shooting the boy in the chest.

That man George Zimmerman said Martin looked suspicious and that he shot Martin in self defense. Now that the 911 call has been released, a lot of questions many involving race and justice have been raised. Martin was a black teen, Zimmerman is a white man and in that call Zimmerman made to police about the boy he considered suspicious, he was told not to follow him however Zimmerman approached the boy and ultimately killed him.

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(CBS News) ATLANTA - March 19, 2012 -

The parents of an unarmed teenage boy who was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida last month are now calling on the FBI to get involved in the investigation.

Trayvon Martin's parents have formally asked the FBI to investigate this case, because they believe local police and prosecutors have not done their job. The admitted gunman remains free - and this case has growing overtones of race and injustice.

Martin's parents say recently-released 911 calls prove the shooter, a neighborhood watch volunteer, was not acting in self-defense, as he has claimed.

Hundreds of Martin's supporters marched near Orlando on Sunday, outraged that three weeks after the shooting death of the17 year-old, police have not arrested the gunman.

Martin was visiting relatives on February 26, walking, unarmed, in their subdivision on his way back from a 7-11 store. It was 7 p.m.

Video: 911 tapes released in Fla. teen's death
Fla. shooter's dad says he's no racist
Video: Kin, supporters rally for slain Fla. teen

George Zimmerman, a community watch member, thought Martin looked suspicious and called police.

"He's got his hand in his waistband and he's a black male," Zimmerman is heard telling the dispatcher.

After Zimmerman confirms to the dispatcher that he is following Martin, the emergency operator tells him, "we don't need you to do that."

But Zimmerman ignored the dispatcher. He caught up with Martin. They fought.

Two minutes after Zimmerman was told police would handle it, seven neighbors began calling 911 about hearing screams, and gun fire.

Martin was killed, shot once in the chest. Zimmerman told police he fired his 9-millimeter pistol in self-defense, and he has a lawful concealed weapons permit. But all Martin was carrying was his cell phone, a can of ice tea and a bag of skittles.

Police in Sanford Florida released the 911 recordings last Friday after pressure from Martin's family and supporters.

Tracy Martin, the teen's father, says his son was murdered, and can't understand why Zimmerman is still free.

"They're treating this as my son is the perp," says the father. "My son is the victim here. There's no reason why he should have been in that situation, none whatsoever."

The bereaved father dismisses the claim of self-defense.

"It can't be self-defense," says Tracy Martin. "What was he gonna do, attack him with a bag of skittles?"

Florida law has a "stand your ground law," which allows wide latitude in using deadly force if someone feels reasonably threatened.

Zimmerman's not giving interviews. State prosecutors will now decide whether he met the legal standard for the state's self-defense law, or whether he should be arrested.

The problem, explains CBS News legal analyst Jack Ford, is that only two people are known to have witnessed the incident - Zimmerman, who insists he was attacked and was only defending himself, and Martin, who was killed.

Thus, the most important thing for lawyers on both sides to do, will be to try and find anybody else who can provide some account of the altercation which ended in the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager.

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Washington, D.C. – Brady Campaign President Dan Gross issued the following statement in response to the shooting and killing of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, a concealed carry permit holder who was armed with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol.

“Make no mistake: This tragic shooting represents the National Rifle Association’s vision for America. The NRA's vision is an America that looks just like Florida, where it’s easy for criminals and dangerous people to get, carry, and use guns. The NRA wants us to be a nation without any gun laws, a nation where just about anybody can get a gun and take it anywhere. Their leaders and spokespeople use fear, paranoia and misleading notions of self-defense to justify flooding our streets with armed and violent people, and the result is more tragedies like Trayvon’s.

“Trayvon’s life has been lost not because of an accident, but because of the easy access to a gun by a violent person permitted by a state with weak gun laws. It is time we stand up to the NRA and the politicians who put the agenda of the gun lobby ahead of the safety of the people they have been elected to represent. It is time that we as a nation flatly reject the vision of the gun industry and replace it with the vision where our young people can grow up without the fear and tragedy of gun violence.”

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Tallahassee, FL -- March 18, 2012

On Monday, March 19th, 2012 at 9AM, some students from FAMU and FSU will be gathering on the Set at FAMU's campus to rally for Justice in the murder of 17 year old Trayvon Martin. Students will be gathering to spread awareness on the case, but also demand Gov. Scott take lead to make sure justice is served in this state for the family of Trayvon Martin.

On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a white male who claimed self defense. However, evidence seems to contradict his claims. Till this day, no arrests have been made.

March 19, 2012 - Noon -

A 17 year old was shot and killed near his home and the man who confessed to the shooting hasn't been arrested. FAMU and FSU students are rallying around the movement being named "Justice for Trayvon Martin."

Trayvon Martin was walking back from a convenience store near his home in Central Florida in late February when a neighborhood watch leader approached him and ended up shooting the boy in the chest.

That man George Zimmerman said Martin looked suspicious and that he shot Martin in self defense. Now that the 911 call has been released, a lot of questions many involving race and justice have been raised. Martin was a black teen, Zimmerman is a white man and in that call Zimmerman made to police about the boy he considered suspicious, he was told not to follow him however Zimmerman approached the boy and ultimately killed him.

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(CBS News) ATLANTA - March 19, 2012 -

The parents of an unarmed teenage boy who was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida last month are now calling on the FBI to get involved in the investigation.

Trayvon Martin's parents have formally asked the FBI to investigate this case, because they believe local police and prosecutors have not done their job. The admitted gunman remains free - and this case has growing overtones of race and injustice.

Martin's parents say recently-released 911 calls prove the shooter, a neighborhood watch volunteer, was not acting in self-defense, as he has claimed.

Hundreds of Martin's supporters marched near Orlando on Sunday, outraged that three weeks after the shooting death of the17 year-old, police have not arrested the gunman.

Martin was visiting relatives on February 26, walking, unarmed, in their subdivision on his way back from a 7-11 store. It was 7 p.m.

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George Zimmerman, a community watch member, thought Martin looked suspicious and called police.

"He's got his hand in his waistband and he's a black male," Zimmerman is heard telling the dispatcher.

After Zimmerman confirms to the dispatcher that he is following Martin, the emergency operator tells him, "we don't need you to do that."

But Zimmerman ignored the dispatcher. He caught up with Martin. They fought.

Two minutes after Zimmerman was told police would handle it, seven neighbors began calling 911 about hearing screams, and gun fire.

Martin was killed, shot once in the chest. Zimmerman told police he fired his 9-millimeter pistol in self-defense, and he has a lawful concealed weapons permit. But all Martin was carrying was his cell phone, a can of ice tea and a bag of skittles.

Police in Sanford Florida released the 911 recordings last Friday after pressure from Martin's family and supporters.

Tracy Martin, the teen's father, says his son was murdered, and can't understand why Zimmerman is still free.

"They're treating this as my son is the perp," says the father. "My son is the victim here. There's no reason why he should have been in that situation, none whatsoever."

The bereaved father dismisses the claim of self-defense.

"It can't be self-defense," says Tracy Martin. "What was he gonna do, attack him with a bag of skittles?"

Florida law has a "stand your ground law," which allows wide latitude in using deadly force if someone feels reasonably threatened.

Zimmerman's not giving interviews. State prosecutors will now decide whether he met the legal standard for the state's self-defense law, or whether he should be arrested.

The problem, explains CBS News legal analyst Jack Ford, is that only two people are known to have witnessed the incident - Zimmerman, who insists he was attacked and was only defending himself, and Martin, who was killed.

Thus, the most important thing for lawyers on both sides to do, will be to try and find anybody else who can provide some account of the altercation which ended in the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager.

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Washington, D.C. – Brady Campaign President Dan Gross issued the following statement in response to the shooting and killing of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, a concealed carry permit holder who was armed with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol.

“Make no mistake: This tragic shooting represents the National Rifle Association’s vision for America. The NRA's vision is an America that looks just like Florida, where it’s easy for criminals and dangerous people to get, carry, and use guns. The NRA wants us to be a nation without any gun laws, a nation where just about anybody can get a gun and take it anywhere. Their leaders and spokespeople use fear, paranoia and misleading notions of self-defense to justify flooding our streets with armed and violent people, and the result is more tragedies like Trayvon’s.

“Trayvon’s life has been lost not because of an accident, but because of the easy access to a gun by a violent person permitted by a state with weak gun laws. It is time we stand up to the NRA and the politicians who put the agenda of the gun lobby ahead of the safety of the people they have been elected to represent. It is time that we as a nation flatly reject the vision of the gun industry and replace it with the vision where our young people can grow up without the fear and tragedy of gun violence.”

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Tallahassee, FL -- March 18, 2012

On Monday, March 19th, 2012 at 9AM, some students from FAMU and FSU will be gathering on the Set at FAMU's campus to rally for Justice in the murder of 17 year old Trayvon Martin. Students will be gathering to spread awareness on the case, but also demand Gov. Scott take lead to make sure justice is served in this state for the family of Trayvon Martin.

On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a white male who claimed self defense. However, evidence seems to contradict his claims. Till this day, no arrests have been made.


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