Family of Trayvon Martin say 911 tapes disprove self-defense claim
The family of a black teenager killed by a neighborhood watch captain say the 911 tapes of the incident, released on Friday, prove George Zimmerman did not act in self-defense.
On one of the tapes, Zimmerman is heard telling dispatchers he sees a suspicious person who appears to be “up to no good” or “on drugs or something.”
“These a**holes always get away,” he adds.
Zimmerman is asked by the dispatcher if he is following the person, and when he indicates he is, the dispatcher says “we don’t need you to do that.”
LISTEN: The Trayvon Martin 911 tapes
On subsequent tapes, a neighbor can be heard telling the dispatcher he sees people “wrestling on the ground” outside and that he heard gunshots. On another, a voice can be heard screaming for help as a neighbor describes the scuffling outside to the dispatcher.
The 17-year-old from Miami was returning to his father’s fiancee’s home in Sanford, Florida, from the store, carrying an ice tea and candy, when the confrontation took place. Zimmerman told police Martin was the aggressor, and that he feared for his life before he fatally shot the teen in the chest.
So far, Sanford police have declined to arrest Zimmerman, saying witness accounts corroborate his story. But Martin’s family and a growing number of observers are demanding an arrest, saying Martin was a victim of racial profiling. Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee has disputed that, and earlier this week told the Miami Herald the 911 tapes would prove that race played no factor in the shooting, since when asked by the dispatcher to describe the race of the person he was following, he said he didn’t know. In fact, the tapes show he told the dispatcher the person he was pursuing “looks black.”
Martin’s Tracy Martin told the Associated Press the tapes prove Zimmerman’s story is false, and that he can be heard chasing their son on the tapes. He also told reporters that the fact that two shots can be heard on the tapes differs from the one shot they were told of by police.
“How can you claim self-defense and you are the aggressor?” Tracy Martin said at a press conference Saturday.
And Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, told the AP the tapes confirm that her son was afraid, and running away from a stranger who was chasing him.