The Associated Press is reporting that a central Florida prosecutor has announced a grand jury will convene to look at the evidence surrounding the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. This comes a day after the U.S. Justice department also announced it would investigate the incident.
Martin is the 17-year-old Floridian boy whose death has sparked protests across the nation, including a change.org petition boasting more than half-a-million signatures.
Also this morning ABC News is reporting that they have an interview with the girl on the phone with Martin at the time of the shooting. In that interview the girl, whose name has not been released, recalls: “Trayvon said, ‘What, are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.’ Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell. I called him again and he didn’t answer the phone.”
The shooter, George Zimmerman, has not been arrested. The same ABC report states that the shooting took place while Zimmerman was on the phone with a non-emergency number with police. Zimmerman began following Martin, and a scuffle ensued which ended with Martin dead of a gunshot wound. Martin’s family, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, state in the change.org petition that Martin was walking back from a convenience store after buying candy.
As a result of the incident, Florida’s gun laws are also coming under scrutiny. Specifically, a law passed by the Florida Legislature in 2005 allows a person to use deadly force in self defense even when the person did not first attempt to retreat. The law, statute 776.012 is nicknamed the “Stand Your Ground” law.
Hear Martin’s friend recall her phone conversation in her own words in this clip from ABC’s Good Morning America:
The reactions on twitter tell of frustration and anger:
Can’t stop thinking about trayvon martin. As a parent, I am dumbstruck with sadness and rage. As a human 2. How is Zimmerman on the street?
we all need to advocate for Trayvon Martin & his family. Speak out & let your voice be heard. Zimmerman needs to be thrown the book!!
What do you think? Could Zimmerman have been in danger? Was this a tragic accident or something closer to a hate crime?