A Call for Oversight in Killing of Trayvon Martin
Calling into question the failure of Florida's Sanford Police Department to arrest George Zimmerman, the neighborhood-watch captain who shot to death unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, Atlantic magazine blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates presents the audiotape of the 911 call from the incident and argues that outside oversight may be needed to ensure that justice is served.
via Trymaine Lee, disturbing, disturbing stuff:
... for the first time, we hear the voice of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who admitted to police that he shot Martin, who was walking home from a convenience store to his father's home in the gated community. Zimmerman has not been arrested or charged in the shooting.
"This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something," Zimmerman tells the 911 operator. "He's just staring, looking at all the houses. Now he's coming toward me. He's got his hand in his waistband. Something's wrong with him." …
…MORE: From The Times description of the tapes:
On the recordings, one shot, an apparent warning or miss, is heard, followed by a voice begging or pleading, and a cry. A second shot is then heard, and the pleading stops.[...]
This really escalates things in my mind. I am slow learner. I try to give as much benefit of the doubt as possible, mostly because I've seen people (myself included) get carried away with these sorts of cases, only to find out things are more complicated than they appear. That may still be true.
But my feeling, at this moment, is that the decision to not arrest Zimmerman, along with ugly history of Sanford's police, really point to a department incapable of handling this case. Oversight should not be out of the question.
Read Ta-Nehisi Coates' entire blog entry at the Atlantic.