The investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin has been turned over to the State Attorney’s Office in Seminole County, Florida, after widespread criticisms of the handling of the case by the local community where the teenager was killed.
Meanwhile, the case of Martin, a 17-year-old Black student who was shot to death Feb. 26 by a white neighborhood watch captain, is receiving national attention because it involves the killing of a promising young man who was unarmed. Before the incident, Martin had been visiting his father’s fiancée and his stepbrother in a gated community.
As a result, the state of Florida will have the duty to determine whether George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who admitted that he shot Martin in the Orlando suburb of Sanford, FL., will be charged with killing the student.
“State Attorney Norm Wolfinger recognizes that Trayvon Martin and his family, interested persons, and the public-at-large are entitled to no less than a thorough, deliberate and just review of the information provided, along with any other evidence that may or may not be developed in the course of the review process,” a statement released from the State Attorney’s Offices said. “We intend to honor that commitment.”
The decision to move the case to the state level comes at the same time of growing outrage over the killing. Zimmerman claimed the shooting was in self-defense, although Martin was unarmed.
Martin’s family said that they felt local officials in Sanford were unresponsive and untruthful in dealing with their concerns about the shooting.
And there have been growing questions about Zimmerman. Police officials in Sanford initially told Martin’s family that the neighborhood watch captain had a “squeaky clean” record.
However, the lawyer for the family later said that he had discovered that Zimmerman had been arrested in 2005 in Orange County on charges of resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer.
Also, there have been news reports that stated that Zimmerman had been the subject of complaints by neighbors in the community where he lived of aggressive tactics while patrolling the gated community.
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