Socialist Worker

Anger as Florida authorities refuse jury hearing in Trayvon Martin case

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2298

Protests continue to call for justice for Trayvon  (Pic: Shankbone )

Protests continue to call for justice for Trayvon (Pic: David Shankbone)

There will be no jury hearing to decide whether George Zimmerman, the man who shot black teenager Trayvon Martin in February, should face charges.

The decision will enrage all those people across the US who have been demanding justice for Trayvon.

Zimmerman shot the 17 year old dead in the city of Sanford, Florida, in February. He claims this was self defence.

A grand jury hearing had been scheduled for Tuesday of this week. This would have allowed members of the public decide whether prosecutors had enough evidence to bring Zimmerman to trial.

But Florida’s state attorney Angela Corey cancelled the jury. Now she alone will decide whether to charge Zimmerman.

The decision follows mass protests in response to the killing. Protesters arrived in Sanford on Monday of this week following a three-day march for Trayvon.


Demonstrators gathered at the police headquarters in Sanford after hearing of Corey’s decision. They blocked the doors and police were forced to close the building.

Protesters called for the immediate arrest of Zimmerman, the sacking of Sanford police chief Bill Lee and an investigation of the Sanford police department.

Nailah Summers, a student at the University of Florida, said, “If Zimmerman doesn’t get arrested, if that doesn’t tell people there’s no justice for communities of colour, I don’t know what will.”

Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for Trayvon’s family, says Lee and state attorney Norm Wolflinger met hours after Trayvon was shot dead and decided not to arrest Zimmerman.

Crump adds that this was against the recommendation of the lead police investigator.

The lack of justice for Trayvon Martin is giving confidence to racists in the US. Graffiti reading “Long live Zimmerman” was painted on the wall of the Black Cultural Centre at Ohio State University.

But the protests in the US and around the world reflect widespread revulsion and anger at Trayvon’s killing.

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Tue 10 Apr 2012, 18:20 BST
Issue No. 2298
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