Sanford police mishandling of Trayvon Martin case

Trayvon Martin

He was just walking hone with a candy and a can of drink.

A “late teen”- full of life and promises, and fully loved by his parents, teachers and friends, who had just celebrated his 17th birthday three weeks prior to the tragic event of February 26 was just minding his own business when suddenly he was spotted and subsequently followed, first by car and then by foot.  Wrongly profiled by a so-called neighborhood watch coordinator as being “suspicious”, the teenager, Trayvon Benjamin Martin was then mysteriously shot to death following a dark night chase in a common courtyard of a gated community where he was staying as a guest.

The unsuspecting kid was walking home with a bag of skittles and a can of drink he had just bought from the 7-11 store and was on the cell phone chatting with his girl friend in a drizzle around 7 p.m. that Sunday evening. 

Heading home for him at that time was heading towards the house of his father’s girlfriend, Brandy Green, at the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford where he was visiting with his father. The unexpected tragic encounter with his killer, George Michael Zimmerman, took place that night beside a walkway in between two rows of town houses just 70 yards north of Brandy’s house. Zimmerman then claimed the shooting was in self-defense.

Trayvon Martin was just a typical American teenager.

In the non-emergency call to the Sanford police department (SPD) Zimmerman deemed Trayvon Martin “suspicious”  simply for walking slowly in the rain wearing a hoodie and “looking at houses”.  Even the dispatcher, after hearing Zimmerman’s description of what Trayvon was doing, simply remarked, “OK, he’s just walking around the area…” 

Being a teenager Trayvon certainly had his fair share of typical teenage adventures.  But, nothing serious. He had no police record nor any record of run-ins with the law unless you want to consider walking slowly in the rain wearing a hoodie and looking at houses while being black a crime. But, overall he was a good kid with outstanding academic and athletic performance.

However, Zimmerman’s supporters would want us to believe that being suspended from school for possessing an empty bag with marijuana residue found in it and being involved in some unsubstantiated “up to no good” twitter entries that were completely unrelated to the night of February 26 would somehow translate into some kind of thuggish behavior that justifies Zimmerman’s right to kill an unarmed teenager.

Ordinarily, cases like this are just local news when handled properly by the police department. The fallout from this case that led to the public outcry and nationwide calls for justice for Trayvon Martin stemmed from the SPD’s mishandling of this case from day one.

For starters, Zimmerman was treated with kid gloves at the onset of the police investigation while justice for Trayvon was swept under the rug. Trayvon was given a cold shoulder because the dead  “suspect”, who was simply an unknown  black “John Doe”, was from the get go deemed “up to no good”.

So, even though on the night the partial police report was generated and completed by 3:07 a.m. on Feb 27, Zimmerman had already gone home with his wife without suffering an arrest. Trayvon Martin’s body, however, was laying cold in the morgue still being tagged as “John Doe” unbeknown to his parents of his dire circumstance of unfortunate demise. Neglected, he laid pretty much forgotten by the police investigators even though in the police report it had already identified him as “VICTIM-JUVENILE: MARTIN, TRAYVON BENJAMIN”.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/87828890/Sanford-FL-police-report-on-Trayvon-Martin

(I wondered how the SPD managed to find out the identity of Trayvon so quickly that night given that he had no I.D. with him but was unable to dig out anything about Zimmerman’s previous run-ins with the laws or so they said. But, somehow they were able to say that Zimmerman had a “squeaky clean” record).

In the police report, Trayvon’s birth day, birth place, address and telephone number were all listed in the partial report, but the Martin family wasn’t even contacted until the next morning when his father, Tracy Martin, called to report his son missing. On that night, Trayvon’s father said he had tried to call his son’s cell phone several times without getting any response. Yet, Trayvon’s cell phone was just laying there in the police custody.

Zimmerman claimed he shot Trayvon in self-defense. Instead of being transported by the ambulance to the hospital for medical check up and treatment of his supposedly “severe” head injuries, he was transported to SPD for a five-hour friendly “chit-chats” with investigators D. Singleton and Chris Serino.  

According to theGrio:

When 28-year-old George Zimmerman was discovered by Sanford, Florida police standing over the body of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, they accepted Zimmerman’s claim that he killed in self-defense as a neighborhood watch captain.

http://thegrio.com/2012/03/21/zimmerman-not-a-member-of-recognized-neighborhood-watch-organization/

This was a travesty of justice because Zimmerman, being a crime suspect possessing physical evidence by his head injuries, was given a preferential treatment.

Never mind the state’s interest to collect, document and preserve crime scene evidence on his physical body, he was allowed to decide whether or not to be transported to the hospital. Very early on in the investigation, the SPD had already taken Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense solely at face value despite all the inconsistencies that were apparent at the onset.

If Zimmerman had been arrested that night for killing an unarmed teenager who was not committing any crime, he would have no choice but to be transported to the hospital for medical evaluation.

His physical injuries would then have been documented and his nose injury would be radiographically examined and conclusively diagnosed at the hospital by the medical professionals. Together with all the wound pictures, X-rays/CT scan and any other tests performed, they would have been preserved as physical evidence for the prosecution to either exonerate or refute Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense.

For the SPD’s decision not to arrest or charge George Zimmerman on the night of the shooting the Special Prosecutor now has to make do with the lost of the valuable medical evidence of Zimmerman’s head and nose trauma soon after the event.  Whether the wounds were consistent with his head being punched and slammed repeatedly for almost a minute into the concrete walkway as he claimed would be contested. But, there are other evidence to refute his claim, even from his own sources, such as his medical report from his family physician’s office.

Such loss of medical findings is Zimmerman’s gain. Or so he thought. That’s why despite his claim of being severely beaten and slammed in the head, he steadfast repeatedly refused to be taken to the hospital for examination. Also in evidence was his refusal to heed the medical advice of his own medical care provider to see the Ear, Nose and Throat specialists.

For apparently he knew his head wasn’t repeatedly being pounded into the concrete as he claimed. He also knew his face wasn’t pummeled senseless nor his nose broken as claimed. To do so would have exposed his lies he played on the gullible SPD and certain segment of the American public.

If his claim of severe head slamming were true, wouldn’t he let the hospital medical professionals evaluate and thoroughly checked out his head injury? After all, hidden brain contusion or hemorrhage can turn fatal very quickly and suddenly.

If he had gone to such an extend as to take an unarmed teenager’s life to save his own as he claimed, why wasn’t he concerned about his head injury that could turn fatal internally? Why was he adamantly refusing against advice from the police, the EMS and his own medical provider to have his head injury medically checked out to prevent imminent death arising from possible medical complications that could potentially arise after having his head severely pounded into the concrete to the point of “exploding”?

Or, was it because saving his life was never an issue on the night of February 26 when he shot and kill an unarmed teenager? So, more likely than not per his aftermath behavior, was that his life was never in danger. More likely than not, the story of his head being repeated pounded was just a necessary script to turn his cold-blooded killing into a self-defense claim.

Also, if his claimed were true, wouldn’t he want his head trauma to be medically verified to substantiate his claim of self-defense?

As we know, before or around midnight that night and during a visit by Zimmerman’s father at the scene or the police station, a decision was quickly made from higher up in the SPD chain involving Bill Lee in conjunction with Wolfinger to “cut him loose.”

Here is what was reported by theGlio of the NBC News:

A source with knowledge of the investigation into the shooting of Trayvon Martin tells theGrio that it was then Sanford police chief Bill Lee, along with Capt. Robert O’Connor, the investigations supervisor, who made the decision to release George Zimmerman on the night of February 26th, after consulting with State Attorney Norman Wolfinger — in person.

Wolfinger’s presence at the scene or at the police department in the night of a shooting would be unusual, according to the source. On a typical case, police contact the state attorney’s office and speak with an on duty assistant state attorney; they either discuss the matter by phone or the on duty assistant state attorney comes to the crime scene – but rarely the state attorney him or herself.

http://thegrio.com/2012/03/28/source-sanford-police-chief-state-attorney-made-zimmerman-no-charge-call-in-person/#46882946

The decision not to charge was made by the now defunct/fired ex-Sanford police chief, Bill Lee, after a consultation with  the State Attorney, Norman Wolfinger, who had since recused himself from this case.

One thing that I find unsettling is Wolfinger’s letter to Florida Governor Rick Scott for his recusal from the case. In it he stated that his recusal was necessary “to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.”  What was the conflict of interest he alluded to? We can only guess because he did not disclose it.

But, soon after, Bill Lee followed suit and stepped down as the Sanford police chief along the same line of reason.

Apparently, there was something going on between Wolfinger and Bill Lee and quite possibly the father of George Zimmerman during the meeting in the dark shadow of their coming together that a decision was made to “cut Zimmerman loose” on the Florida’s Stand Your Ground law on the night of February 26.

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About dolphinocean

I am a college educated regular guy who was born and raised overseas but now reside in the U.S. I love nature but despise injustice.
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