Killer of unarmed black teenager called police 46 times in a year
The vigilante who shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager whose killing has sparked outrage, had called police to the gated community where he lives 46 times in the previous year, it emerged yesterday.
George Zimmerman, a neighbourhood watch leader and gun enthusiast with a chequered past, repeatedly called emergency services when he spotted people he thought "suspicious" at The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida. He was particularly worried about African-American youths wandering in the grounds. Recordings of six of Mr Zimmerman's most recent calls were released by the sheriff's office; in four of them, the "suspect" was a black male.
On 26 February, Mr Zimmerman, 28, approached Trayvon, 17, who was wearing a hoodie as he walked to the Twin Lakes home of his father's girlfriend, having visited a 7-Eleven store. After a brief confrontation, the teenager was shot. He was found dead, unarmed, with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea. Police did not arrest Mr Zimmerman, apparently accepting his claim that he acted in self-defence. The US Justice Department has asked the FBI and civil rights department to review the case. A grand jury is also investigating.
More than a million people have signed a petition calling for Mr Zimmerman to be charged with murder. Trayvon's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, were expected to attend a rally in his memory – called the Million Hoodie March – in Union Square, New York City, last night.
Civil rights activists have already held demonstrations across Florida, noting that Trayvon's death followed two other incidents in which Sanford police were accused of failing properly to investigate attacks on black men by white suspects.
Public pressure intensified as more became known about the background of Mr Zimmerman, who is in hiding with his family after death threats. Unlike Trayvon, who had no criminal record, Mr Zimmerman has had several run-ins with the law. In 2005, he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer at a bar. Later that year, he was accused of domestic violence.
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Bali Nine executions in Indonesia: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An IT Installation / Commission...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Bridgend based software de...
£21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A specialist retail and brand c...