The Trayvon Martin case has captivated the nation and sparked outrage & national outcry. Martin was a 17-year-old African-American young teen who was killed by a neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, on the way from a 7-11 from buying Skittles & Arizona Iced Tea. Zimmerman, the shooter, claimed self-defense and was not arrested or charged with any crime. He hasn't still been arrested which has caused many to criticize the Sanford Police Department for its handling of the case.
Zimmerman already had an attorney, Craig Sooner, who was speaking out on his behalf. A new attorney, Hal Uhrig, has joined in for the defense on Zimmerman and has said some eyebrow raising things. Reutersreports:
SANFORD, Fla., April 6 (Reuters) – "Shaken Baby Syndrome" was cited on Friday in the defense of George Zimmerman, the Sanford, Florida, man who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in a case that has sparked a widespread public outcry.
Hal Uhrig, a lawyer and former Gainesville, Florida, police officer who recently joined Zimmerman's defense team, cited in a TV interview the brain damage that can seriously injure or kill an infant.
His point, which has been made before, was that Zimmerman contends he shot Martin in self defense and feared for his life after the 17-year-old attacked him and began pounding his head into the concrete pavement of a gated community on a rainy evening in Sanford on Feb. 26.
But Uhrig's choice of words, and use of a recognized sign of child abuse to defend a 28-year-old man who killed a kid, seemed likely to raise more than just a few eyebrows.
"We're familiar with the Shaken Baby Syndrome," said Uhrig on the CBS This Morning program. "You shake a baby, the brain shakes around inside the skull. You can die when someone's pounding your head into the ground."
Apart from saying his client suffered a broken nose, Uhrig did not elaborate on the extent of any injuries Zimmerman actually suffered. But characteristic injuries associated with SBS, as Shaken Baby Syndrome is known, include bleeding in the brain. There are often no visible external signs such injuries have occurred.
Police have not arrested Zimmerman because the use of lethal force in self defense is permitted under the Stand Your Ground law approved by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in 2005.
The lack of an arrest in the Martin case has triggered protests across the United States. A special prosecutor appointed by Governor Rick Scott is investigating to decide whether charges are warranted, amid allegations of racial profiling and initial police bungling of the case.
If it goes to trial, Uhrig said he and his fellow defense attorney, would defend Zimmerman under the Stand Your Ground statute.
"He didn't commit any crime," Uhrig said on CBS. "He was attacked, broke his nose, hit his head into the ground and he defended himself. That's not against the law."
A USA Today/Gallup poll published on Saturday showed that Americans are deeply divided across color lines in their opinions about Martin's killing.
Seventy-three percent of blacks in the survey said they believed Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, would have been arrested if the person he shot dead was white.
Only 33 percent of whites agreed with that view while the majority of whites polled, 52 percent, said race made no difference in the case.
(Reporting By Tom Brown; Editing by Philip Barbara)
George Zimmerman has now become a house-hold name sparking debate about race, self-defense, and the controversial "Stand Your Ground Law". On February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old, un-armed African-American teen who was returning to his father's gated community from the local 7-11. George has claimed self-defense and was not charged or arrested, which has sparked an international debate and rallies across the nation for his arrest. The controversial law allows you to claim self-defense if you feel "reasonably threatened".
As days pass and the April 10, 2012, grand jury trial approaches, more and more details come out about the night of Trayvon's Killing and what really may have happened. Both people supporting George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin has said the media has rushed to judgment on both sides and have tried to smear each party. A former co-worker of George Zimmerman has come forward and described him as having a 'Jekyll/ Hyde' type personality.
The unidentified man told the New York Daily News:
"Usually he was just a cool guy. He liked to drink and hang with the women like the rest of us'.
He added: 'But it was like Jekyll and Hyde. When the dude snapped, he snapped."
"He had a temper and he became a liability. 'One time this woman was acting a little out of control. She was drunk. George lost his cool and totally overreacted'.
'It was weird, because he was such a cool guy, but he got all nuts. He picked her up and threw her. It was pure rage. She twisted her ankle. Everyone was flipping out".
It is claimed that his hot temper is what led to him being fired as at a security job during this time. The former co-worker says he has since lost touch with Zimmerman.
The New YorkDaily News has also obtained EMS recordings of the night of the shooting that suggest Zimmerman's injuries were not as serious as was reported. He had claimed Trayvon hit him in the nose and then banged his head repeatedly into the concrete. Zimmerman's condition is shortly mentioned by two unidentified dispatchers.
The killing that has many in America outraged doesn't seem to be dying anytime soon. Trayvon Martin was killed February 26, 2012, by a self-professed neighborhood watchman by the name of George Zimmerman. Trayvon Martin was un-armed and coming back from a local 7-11, buying a bag of Skittles and Arizona-iced Tea.Zimmerman was in his car when he saw Martin and called 911 to report a "suspicious person", referring to Martin. As the dispatcher questioned Zimmerman about the situation, he eventually asked Zimmerman if he was following the person in question, which was Martin, he replied "Yes".
The dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow him and what happened next is what has many in the nation outraged. At some point a confrontation ensued, and in the end 17-yearold Trayvon ended up dead. 911 calls flooded the call center and many witnesses said it sounded like a young, male screaming for help, but now, Zimmerman has friends who are coming forward saying it was him yelling for help because they say it sounded like him on the tape. Trayvon's family say that it was he who was yelling for help on the tape.
The case has sparked a firestorm of criticism of the way the case was handled, causing the Chief of Police, Bill Lee Jr., to temporarily step down from the case. Bill Lee, Jr. has recently received death threats. Most are outraged that Zimmerman was not arrested, was not tested for alcohol & drugs, and a background check was not run on him. He claimed self-defense, and under a Florida Law, Stand Your Ground , it allows one to say self-defense if you feel reasonably threatened. He was allowed to go home with the murder weapon. Trayvon was pronounced dead on the scene and his body was at a local hospital for at least 24-hours tagged as a "John-Doe". His body was tested for drugs and alcohol. His father, Tracy Martin, found out what happened to his son after reporting him missing and checking local hospitals.
This law is coming under fire as the definition of "reasonably threatened" is so broad. The makers of the law, however, are saying, it doesn't apply in this case, as you can't claim self-defense if you pursue a person. One of the main reasons Sanford Police say they didn't have enough evidence to arrest Zimmerman is because he used the Stand Your Ground defense and they say there was no evidence to disprove his accounts.
The killing has sparked many protests and marches from New York to Los Angeles calling for Zimmerman's arrest and demanding justice. Celebrities have showed an outpouring of support wearing hoodies with hashtag #I am Trayvon. At one Washington D.C. rally, an organizer compared Martin's killing to a 1955 murder 14-year-old, African-American Emmitt Till. He was from Chicago and came to visit family in Mississippi and was killed by white men because he flirted with a white woman. Right now, the Department of Justice and the FBI are also investigating the case. Hate charges could be brought against Zimmerman as it is being determined if he may have referred to Martin as a "coon" on the 911 tape. Many already feel the killing was racially motivated and Zimmerman already had a previous bias because Martin was African-American.
New Black Panther Party are offering a $10,000 reward for the "capture" of George Zimmerman. New Black Panther leader Mikhail Muhammad announced the reward during a protest in Sanford Saturday. The leader was asked if he was inciting violence, Muhammad said sternly "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."
A grand jury will be convened April 10, 2012 to see if charges can be brought against Zimmerman.
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