The lawyer for the parents of Trayvon Martin said that if George Zimmerman had identified himself as a neighborhood watch volunteer, it might well have changed the dynamic of events that resulted in the killing of the 17-year-old high school student.
“I think Zimmerman was the adult in this situation and he had the obligation to identify himself, which he didn’t do,” said Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for the family. “Zimmerman could have diffused the situation.”
Crump added, “Zimmerman had several opportunities to diffuse the situation. All he had to do was to follow the instructions he was given and not get out of his car.”
Crump’s comments echo those of investigators, who maintain Zimmerman should have identified himself as a neighborhood watch volunteer.
Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder for killing Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was instructed by a police dispatcher not to follow the teenager, who was walking unarmed through a gated community in Sanford, Florida, in February. Zimmerman, who carried a 9-mm gun, had maintained that he shot the teenager in self-defense.
In doing so, Zimmerman invoked Floirida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, under which a person can use deadly force if he or she believes there is the threat of imminent danger. The law has been harshly criticized by civil rights groups and the parents of Trayvon Martin, saying that it is an invitation to vigilante justice.
Meanwhile, Christopher Serino, a Sanford detective, said in a report released recently that Zimmerman initially confronted Martin from his car and that the neighborhood watch volunteer said he was too afraid of Martin to get out. Later in the encounter, Zimmerman got out of his SUV and followed Martin, the report said.
“His actions are inconsistent of those of a person who has stated he was in fear of another subject,” Serino said in the report.
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