Mar 30 2012
Police video released yesterday of George Zimmerman being taken into a police station about 35 minutes after he was detained for shooting Trayvon Martin may further erode Zimmerman’s claim that he shot the teenager in self-defense. The grainy video captures Zimmerman’s face and head, albeit from afar, and there are no obvious injuries to his nose and skull or blood stains on his shirt. Zimmerman told police that he was attacked by Martin and violently beaten in a struggle before shooting the boy on February 26th in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman’s attorney has said the video proves nothing, and that paramedics likely cleaned up Zimmerman’s wounds before police took him into custody. Zimmerman was released and no charges have been filed due to his self-defense claim, leading to a nationwide movement calling for justice for Trayvon Martin with protests, ‘Million Hoodie Marches,’ and solidarity actions by professional athletes and elected officials in recent days.
Trayvon Martin was only 17 years old when he was shot and killed in Florida, a state with some of the most lax gun control laws in the nation. He became one of thousands of children and teens in the US to be killed as a result of gun violence each year. The Children’s Defense Fund has just released a new report, “Protect Children, Not Guns,” dedicated to the memory of Trayvon Martin. The organization found that in 2009 just under 3,000 children and teens were killed after being shot. Eighty-five preschoolers were killed with guns in 2009, almost double the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty the same year. The report also finds that Black youth are more likely to be killed as a result of gun violence than their peers. In a stark juxtaposition, the Children’s Defense Fund reports that 44,038 black youth have been killed since 1979, which is 13 times more than the number of black Americans of all ages who died by lynching over an 86 year period from 1882 to 1968.
GUEST: Catherine Beane, Director of Policy and Practice for the Children’s Defense Fund
Visit www.childrensdefense.org for more information and to download the report.