Speculation over what happened the night of February 26 when 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was tragically shot dead continues to run rampant. On Wednesday, police surveillance video emerged showing the gunman, George Zimmerman, in handcuffs. The fact that he wasn’t charged with a crime that night and was release has fueled a public outcry for justice.
Killer Mike called the shooting “an assassination.” “He was killed by a terrorist; there is no other way to put it,” Mike said, as he and “RapFix” host Sway wore hooded sweatshirts in a symbolic show of support for the teen, who died wearing a similar article of clothing.
Via Skype, Prodigy said, “It’s definitely a murder, that dude just murdered him in cold blood. The dude, Zimmerman, I don’t know what he thought he was doing, but he murdered that kid for no reason.”
It has been reported that Zimmerman called 911 on the night of February 26 after he saw Trayvon, who was wearing hoodie, walking through the Sanford, Florida, gated community where he lived and served as a neighborhood watchman. The police dispatcher instructed Zimmerman not to pursue the teen, but he reportedly ignored those instructions. What happened then is unclear, but when Sanford police arrived on the scene, Trayvon was dead. Zimmerman claimed Trayvon attacked him and he acted in self-defense, and police didn’t charge him with a crime.
Critics who have watched the police-surveillance footage said Zimmerman doesn’t appear to have injuries consistent with his beating account, but the footage is grainy.
Prodigy believes Sanford police should have immediately charged Zimmerman. “The burden of proof is on the person that’s claiming self-defense,” he said.
The case has tremendous racial undertones: Zimmerman is a white man of Hispanic origin, and Trayvon was black. Killer Mike said he’s particularly concerned with the “Stand Your Ground” law, Florida legislation that allows a person to kill in cases of self-defense. The Atlanta MC believes that young black men should be armed to protect themselves under the confines of the law. “If you live below the Mason-Dixon line, gun laws allow you to arm yourself; you should be armed,” Killer Mike urged. “Because we live in a state where we are hunted, we live in a state that allows the conditions of black men to walk around in fear.”
Prodigy believes that if Zimmerman isn’t charged, similar incidents might occur. “What the police department out there is doing is they’re gonna start a trend of people that’s just gonna go out there and think they’re neighborhood watch or whatever, and they’re just gonna clap whoever they feel like clappin’,” he said.