Trayvon Martin: New Evidence Contradicts Killer’s Self-Defence Claim, Family Says
Florida police are under mounting pressure to arrest a neighbourhood watch captain who shot dead an unarmed teenager following dramatic new evidence from the victim’s girlfriend.
The family of Trayvon Martin, 17, say the account from his girlfriend completely contradicts his killer’s self-defence claim.
In a dramatic press conference on Tuesday, the Martin family’s lawyer Benjamin Crump detailed how the unnamed girl - a minor who was so traumatised by Martin’s death she was taken to hospital at his wake - was talking to him on his cell phone in the minutes leading up to his death, and heard the altercation with his killer.
Martin, 17, was shot by Hispanic volunteer watch captain George Zimmerman, who spotted the teenager while patrolling the neighbourhood on a rainy evening in February. Zimmerman, 28, claims he shot the teenager with his licensed 9mm handgun in self-defence during a confrontation.
The failure of local police to arrest Zimmerman in the three weeks since the shooting - and the release of 911 tapes that reveal he followed Martin, despite a warning by a police dispatcher not to - has fuelled a fierce debate on race, vigilante justice and a “stand your ground” law in Florida that allows people to defend themselves using deadly force.