Friday, Feb. 8, 8:27 a.m. EST: No apology from firefighter for “pathetic, welfare-dependent” comments: Brian Beckman, a Miami fire official demoted for racially charged comments in the wake of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, is arguing his case in arbitration and testified this week, “I agree with the entire statement in the context that I read it.” Here’s the text of the Facebook post that got him in trouble, from the Huffington Post: “Listening to Prosecutor [Angela] Corey blow herself and her staff for five minutes before pre-passing judgment on [Trayvon’s shooter] George Zimmerman … I and my coworkers could rewrite the book on whether our urban youths are victims of racist profiling or products of their failed, sh–bag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents. They’re just misunderstood little church going angels and the ghetto hoodie look doesn’t have anything to do with why people wonder if they’re about to get jacked by a thug.”
Thursday, Feb. 7, 8:51 a.m. EST: Who’s still playing games with Trayvon’s image? The Washington Post‘s Jonathan Capehart, reflecting on recent mail from readers, says that people still seem eager to paint the slain teen as “a thug, a wannabe gangsta, a monster who got what he deserved” and points to the fake photos of Trayvon that are still all over the Internet despite the updated ones recently released by his family.
Wednesday, Feb. 6, 11:10 a.m. EST: Celebration of Trayvon’s 18th birthday canceled: The sponsor of a vigil in Palm Bay, Fla., to celebrate the life of Travyon Martin, who would have turned 18 on Tuesday, was canceled just hours before it was scheduled to start because of safety concerns. The organizer, John P. Francois, founder of Fathers Stand Up, said that he received reports that the community might have taken the event out of context and he did not want anyone to get hurt “on his watch,” according to USA Today.
Wednesday, Feb. 6, 10:57 a.m. EST: Judge on Tuesday denies Zimmerman’s request for trial delay: U.S. Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson told defense lawyers that the trial would begin as scheduled on June 10, the New York Times reports, saying that she did not see any insurmountable issues. Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, had requested a five-month postponement, saying that he needed more time to prepare for trial and accusing prosecutors of moving too slowly in making evidence and witnesses available. The decision came on what would have been Trayvon Martin’s 18th birthday.
Tuesday, Feb. 5, 9:54 a.m. EST: Sanford, Fla., celebrates Trayvon’s 18th birthday: Trayvon Martin would have turned 18 years old today. To mark the occasion, community leaders in Sanford, Fla., will host a “Banding Together for Peace” program designed to recognize the need for community healing and solidarity. The event, held in Goldsboro, a historically black part of the city, will include the Sanford Police Department, the NAACP, local city officials and Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump. Meanwhile, the Detroit Free Press reports, it’s “just another court date” in George Zimmerman’s second-degree-murder trial, as prosecutors head back to court to discuss evidence and pushing back a scheduled June 10 trial date.
Monday, Feb. 4, 11:21 a.m. EST: Zimmerman prosecutor against delaying trial: The prosecutor in George Zimmerman’s second-degree-murder case is asking the judge to deny a defense request to delay the trial. In a written response to the motion to postpone the trial until November, state attorney Bernie de la Rionda said that George Zimmerman’s attorneys weren’t following the judge’s suggestions for obtaining wanted discovery documents faster, the Associated Press reports.
Read last week’s updates on the Trayvon Martin case here.
Read all of The Root’s news and commentary about the Trayvon Martin case here.