Javon Johnson making me cry in approx 30 seconds.
After police arrived, Darius’ body remained on the sidewalk while police questioned his mother, Patricia Larry, in a squad car for approximately two hours.
During the police investigation of the shooting, they searched Ms. Larry’s home. Finding nothing, they proceeded to arrest Darius’ older brother for having truancy tickets.
John Spooner was granted a $300,000 bail, (only $30,000 would have to be posted for him to be free). Bail is uncommon when the charge is murder in the first degree.
This all took place in 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Mr. Spooner’s trial is to begin next month.
It is open season on Black bodies.
We need to make sure this mom knows that we are behind her
– David Gaider
(source: it was tweeted by @femfreq)
My brother is a tall, skinny, black kid with an athletic build who frequently wears a hoodie, often with his ear buds in. Sometimes he does this in a beautiful cul-de-sac community where he does not live, but my relatives in Delaware do, where all the houses look the same and there are only a few streets. All the backyards connect without fencing, and sometimes he’ll go for a walk down the street, or through the grass, sometimes at night, oblivious to who may be seeing him, wondering what he’s up to, while he’s ignorantly and blissfully listening to A$AP Rocky.
He is Trayvon Martin.
And as I’ve read and watched and discussed this case to anyone foolish enough to get me started on the topic, and although I, like many people, have occasionally been frustrated by the ways in which the media has characterized this case (George Zimmerman’s race, in my personal opinion, is irrelevant), the witnesses (like Rachel Jeantel, who has been beaten up on by not only the conservative media, but also the black community, the Twitter citizenry, and the defense and prosecution lawyers, even when they’ve tried to show her deference), the importance of the verdict (which, in my personal opinion, is irrelevant) and the potential of race riots after it is delivered (which, in my personal opinion, is irrelevant), I am almost embarrassed to admit how amazingly personal this case is to me as black man who will someday have black children.
That is because my brother is Trayvon Martin, and my future children are Trayvon Martin.
The indisputable facts of this case: George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch coordinator with a license to carry a concealed weapon, was accustomed to being on red alert after a series of burglaries by young black males who plagued his gated community. On the rainy evening of February 26, 2012, Zimmerman saw a potential perp — a young black male with ahoodie who was talking through his ear buds to a friend on the phone — and Zimmerman called the police as he had done half a dozen times before in the weeks before the incident.
Instead of remaining in his car, he got out and followed the teenager, even though police told him that an officer was on the way and they didn’t “need” him to do that. The teenager continued to travel away from Zimmerman, who continued after him. Eventually there was a confrontation, a fight, and the teenager, Trayvon Martin, was shot by a single bullet through his heart. Zimmerman has maintained that Martin was beating him up violently against the concrete, and that the killing was in self-defense.
And, believe it or not, the fact that Zimmerman can even claim self-defense, or the fact that anyone, regardless of race, can claim self-defense in a situation even tangentially resembling this one, is the mostdisturbing and terrifying aspect to me.
Defenders of George Zimmerman say, he had a reasonable reason to identify and suspect Trayvon Martin considering the recent burglaries. Getting out of his car wasn’t illegal, nor was ignoring the suggestion of the police dispatcher! Certainly nothing is wrong with asking someone, “What are you doing around here?,” and if, at any given moment, he had a reasonable fear for his life, then he had a legal right and responsibility to protect himself.
I have walked into restaurants and rest stop bathrooms where I have instantly been aware of my blackness, only because everyone else around me is. I have walked into places where people have literally whispered and pointed, without even the slightest bit of shame or covertness, to their companions at me, the lone black person in the establishment. I have had relationships dissolve because of parents who were “concerned” about what people might say about the black guy.
Me. The Old Navy cargo shorts and silly t-shirt rocking, flip-flops all day, every day, during the summer wearing, me. On the Cosby scale, I’m about six shades darker than Lisa Bonet and six shades lighter than Malcolm Jamal Warner. I’m Mr. I-wrote-a-book-on-Pee-wee-Herman-and-frequently-listen-to-the-Spice-Girls -and-the-only-hoodies-I-own-advertise-either-the-college-I -attended-or-the-musical-theater-show-I’m-directing-at-my- full-time-job.
But, you see, I’m Trayvon Martin. And if you’re a black male, regardless of your age, your height, your weight, how dark your skin is, what you’re wearing, and what you’re listening to on the device in your pocket, someone somewhere is seeing you as Trayvon Martin.
Even if you’re carrying a package of Skittles and an Arizona iced tea, just trying to continue your phone call and get to your father’s house to watch the NBA All-Star game with your little half-brother, you are Trayvon Martin.
And nice people who know me personally, hopefully, will shake their heads in confusion at this and will say, “Well, that isn’t fair! If they only knew you, no one would ever be afraid of you.” And, of course, that’s the point and the problem. Because if I can cause someone to feel nervous, concerned, or uncomfortable while they’re eating in a restaurant, then it doesn’t require a leap of faith to understand why George Zimmerman assumed that the teenager walking around his neighborhood was a threat.
But what I think is equally disturbing is that I canunderstand, and by extension, at least to some extent, accept the decision of George Zimmerman to notice Trayvon Martin and make that 911 call in the first place.
When I walk into a convenience store late at night, especially if I’m the only person there besides the employee, I’m amazingly aware of how my presence might make him or her feel uncomfortable. I consciously try to smile and look pleasant. Sometimes I even go so far as to have my debit card in my hand before I reach the counter so I don’t have to reach in my pocket and run the risk of causing any alarms – literal or figurative. When stopped by a cop (which, especially when I was a teenager, would happen all the time), I sat patiently with my hands on the wheel, and gave clear and non-threatening verbal warnings before I made any movements.
“My registration is in my glove compartment,” I’d say. “I’m going to take off my seat belt, open my glove compartment, and go get it for you, sir.”
One time on the New Jersey Turnpike, as I was driving back to college, a state trooper stopped me for speeding. After I gave the verbal warning and got the okay, I reached into my glove compartment.
“Rolling papers?” he asked.
“Are those rolling papers?” There were about five super-flat packets of Stride gum in the back of my glove compartment.
I said they were packets of gum, and after I pulled them out and put them in the trooper’s hand, which he inspected with his partner as if the two of them had never seen a pack of gum before, I was let off with a warning and sent on my way.
And as I drove away, I took those packets of gum and threw them in my book bag. How stupid, I immediately thought, for keeping them inthere. I should have known they looked like rolling papers.
It wasn’t until I got back to my dorm room that I was amazed that in that encounter, I somehow felt guilty, like I had done something wrong for having gum in my car. There are people who will argue that if only Trayvon Martin had declined to hit George Zimmerman after he was a) hit first, or b) approached, or c) followed, depending on which version of the story you believe, or if Trayvon hadn’t been wearing that hoodie, despite the adverse weather conditions, he’d still be alive. Sure, he wasn’t guilty of anything really, but he could have made life easier for himself by maybe not acting or looking so, I don’t know, bla—intimidating?
This is a significant part of the underlying concern a lot of people, particularly black people, have with this case. It isn’t enough that Trayvon Martin was killed with nothing more than a cell phone, a photo button, a bottle of Arizona iced tea, and a package of Skittles on him, but then insult is added to injury when it’s insinuated that he somehow, inherently, deserved it for walking-while-black in a gated community that happened to have previously been plagued by black criminals. Somehow, for a lot of people, it wasn’t George Zimmerman’s fault that Trayvon ended up killed because, as we “all know,” Trayvon was sort of asking for it.
You put on a hoodie and you know what baggage comes with that, right?
This case will, frighteningly, come down to whether or notthe six jurors believe that George Zimmerman was justified in his fear. Another way of asking that is, of course, whether or not those six jurors, if placed in the same situation, could imagine themselves reasonably drawing and acting upon those same assumptions.
Is it impossible to imagine that? Of course not. But that’s precisely the problem.
Because as I think about what certainly occurred that evening, and what likely did, even if I give every single concession to George Zimmerman’s contested version of events (ie: Trayvon hit him first, Trayvon pushed Zimmerman to the ground, Trayvon beat him up, Trayvon saw the gun –- which is amazingly unlikely in the blackness of the night with the weapon concealed, but let’s just say that happened), I can’t help but think to myself:
Good. Good for you, Trayvon Martin, for doing what I would hope to God my brother would do if he was walking down the street with a package of Skittles and was followed and confronted by a man with a decade of life and 70 pounds over him.
Because what people don’t understand about this unfortunate situation is that I feel some degree of fear when I’m doing nothing wrong, like in the restaurant, rest stop, and convenience store, and my very presence causes someone to feel afraid.
And if you aren’t safe with a package of Skittles, walking around your family’s cul-de-sac in Delaware, wearing your Old Navy flip-flops,then when are you ever safe? If you find yourself approached by some stranger, why can’t you run from them without it being assumed that you’re fleeing the scene of some crime you’re destined to commit? If you’re a teenager and confronted by an adult you perceive to be creepy, why can’t you fight for your life? Stand your ground? And why, if you get killed after all of that, would people say it must have been your fault?
A lot of people don’t understand that. They think black people see race in everything and Al Sharpton should have just minded his business. Trayvon Martin was a hood and George Zimmerman did what any responsible person would have done. Justice was already served, they say, and a verdict finding Zimmerman guilty of anything would some sort of de facto reparations –- an example of white guilt and a bone thrown to the civil rights movement.
And that’s only because they haven’t walked a mile from a 7-11 back home in Trayvon Martin’s shoes, like so many other people have.
As University of Connecticut professor and New Yorker columnist Jelani Cobb wrote, “We live in an era in which the protocol for addressing even the most severely bigoted behavior very often includes a conditional apology to the offender—a declaration that he has made a terrible error, but is, of course, in no way racist—and, eventually, an outpouring of support for the fallible transgressor, victim of the media and the ‘race-hustlers.’ We grade racism on the severest of curves, and virtually no one qualifies.”
That’s true, which is why I think questions of George Zimmerman’s racial views are irrelevant. Labeling anyone a racist is a feudal argument, especially since it amounts to nothing. I have never seen someone effectively convinced that a person is a racist. It’s a judgment that’s impossible to be talked into or out of.
But I offer this. Just a few hours ago, Zimmerman’s defense attorney Mark O’Mara, who I believe has genuinely been a relatively reasonable person throughout this trial, took to CNN to give his first interview after the two sides rested their cases. He was asked by the anchor what he thinks George Zimmerman’s life will be like if he’s acquitted.
O’Mara, with a stone face and look of genuine disappointment in the truth embedded in his answer, said that Zimmerman will never be safe. He’ll always live his life in fear. He will never know when a “crazy person” (his words) will kill him.
“Everyone knows what George Zimmerman looks like,” O’Mara said. “He doesn’t know what a person who wants to kill him looks like.”
And this was said without even the slightest hint of irony. The irony jumped out of my television, into my living room, pointed at me, and laughed in my face. And I called it “sir,” and I apologized for even noticing it in the first place. And it shot me in my heart and made me come to my computer and confess the truth that I’ve met George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman doesn’t know what a person who wants to kill him looks like, but everyone knows what he looks like?
Which is fundamentally different than George Zimmerman knowing what “they” – those many, many Trayvon Martins out there – look like.
(Author, Hackensack High School Teacher, Rutgers Alumni, Rutgers Professor)
You can find the original post here
Black and unarmed.
Remember the names of unarmed Black men who were killed by police or vigilantes. This is only a short list, please reply with other names so we may remember these men.
The fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman took place on the night of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida. Martin was a 17-year-old African American high school student. He was unarmed and headed home after buying skittles and sweet tea from a gas station close to his home. George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old multi-racial Hispanic American was the neighborhood watch coordinator for the gated community where Martin was temporarily staying and where the shooting took place. Zimmerman, against the instructions of the Emergency dispatcher pursued Martin on foot calling him “the suspect.” When the case garnered international attention sparking protests all over the world, the state of Florida filled charges against him 46 days after Martin’s death. Zimmerman was tried for second-degree murder and manslaughterand found not guilty on Saturday, July 13, 2013.
The 18-year-old was shot and killed by two security guards — also African American — outside his Atlanta home on Saturday, March 24, 2012. His mother says that he was unarmed and trying to protect his sister from a crowd that was threatening her.
22-year-old Amadou Ahmed Diallo, a Guinnea-Bissau immigrant, was killed when four white New York police officers in plain clothes fired 41 shots at him, 19 of which hit his body. The officers said they thought Diallo was reaching for a gun when they shot him in the doorway of his apartment. Turns out it was his wallet. During the trial, the officers admitted that they never considered the situation (four strangers in an unmarked car with guns approaching a guy on his stoop at night) from Diallo’s point of view. They were acquitted of all charges.
The 26-year-old father of two young girls was shot to death in 2000 during a confrontation with undercover police officers who asked him where they could purchase drugs. An officer claimed thatDorismond — who was unarmed — grabbed his gun and caused his own death. But the incident made many wonder whether the recent acquittal of the officers in the Amadou Diallo case sent a signal that the police had a license to kill without consequence
In 2003 Officer Bryan A. Conroy confronted and killed Zongo in New York City during a raid on a counterfeit-CD ring with which Zongo had no involvement. Relatives of the 43-year-old man from Burkina Faso settled a lawsuit against the city for $3 million. The judge in the trial of the officer who shot him (and was convicted of criminally negligent homicide but did not serve jail time) said he was “insufficiently trained, insufficiently supervised and insufficiently led.”
Unarmed and with no criminal record, 19-year-old Stansbury was killed in 2004 in a Brooklyn, N.Y., stairwell. The officer who shot him said he was startled and fired by mistake. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called his death “a tragic incident that compels us to take an in-depth look at our tactics and training, both for new and veteran officers.” A grand jury deemed it an accident.
Hours before his wedding, 23-year-oldSean Bell left the strip that hosted his bachelor party, jumped into a car with two friends, and was killed when police fire 50 shots into his vehicle. Police say they opened fire after Bell rammed his car into an unmarked police van filled with plainclothes officers. They say they followed Bell and his friends outside the club suspecting that one person in their group had a gun. Referring to Bell and his friends, Mayor Bloomberg told the Associated Press "there is no evidence that they did anything wrong." A judge acquitted the officers of all charges in 2008.
While surrendering on his knees in front of four Las Vegas police officers, Orlando Barlow was shot with an assault rifle by officer Brian Hartman 50 feet away. Hartman argued that he feared Barlow was feigning surrender and about to grab a gun. Barlow was unarmed. A jury ruled the shooting “excusable.” Hartman later resigned from the force a month before a federal probe uncovered that he and other officers printed T-Shirts labeled ”BDRT” which stood for “Baby’s Daddy Removal Team” and “Big Dogs Run Together.”
Portland police officers got a call to check on a suicidal and armed man at an apartment complex. Aaron Campbell,25, came of the apartment walking backward toward police with his hands over his head. The Oregonian reported that police say Campbell ignored their orders to put his hands up. At which point one officer fired six bean bag shots at his back. Witnesses say they saw Campbell reach his arm around his back, where the beanbag struck him. Officer Ronald Frashour said he saw Campbell reach both hands around his waistband to get a gun, and so he shot Campbell in the back with an assault rifle. The jury acquitted the police officer with no criminal wrongdoing.
17-year-old Victor Steen died when he fled from police, was tasered, crashed his bicycle and was run over by police cruiser. Steen committed a simple traffic violation while riding his bike. The deadly incident was captured on video. The officers were acquitted of any criminal wrongdoing.
In 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, five officers opened fire on an unarmed family on the east side of the Danziger Bridge, killing 17-year-old James Brissette and wounding four others. Next, officers shot at brothers Lance and Ronald Madison. Ronald, a 40-year-old man with severe mental disabilities, was running away when he was hit, and an officer stomped on and kicked him before he died. In a federal criminal trial, five officers involved in what have become known as the “Danziger Bridge Shootings” were convicted of various civil rights violations, but not murder.
On New Years morning, 2009, three Bay Area Rapid Transit officers pulled 22-year-old Oscar Grant and four other black men off a train in Oakland. You can view what happened afterwards in this Youtube video. In it, former-transit officer Mehserle can be seen shooting Grant in the back. During the trial, Mehserle argued that he thought Grant was reaching for a gun near his waistband. To stop this from happening, Mehserle said he intended to Tase him, but shot him with a pistol instead. He was sentenced to two years in prison and served 11 months.
On Nov. 23, an unarmed, 17-year-old Jordan Davis, was shot and killed by Michael Dunn after an argument over loud rap music. Dunn, 46, Davis through the window of a sport utility vehicle at a Jacksonville convenience store gas station before driving away, authorities say.Officials say Dunn parked next to the vehicle where Davis was sitting with three other teens. Dunn complained about the loud music and they started arguing. Dunn told police he thought he saw a gun and fired eight or nine shots into the vehicle. N He is charged with first degree murder.
On November 19, 2011, after his Life Aid medical alert necklace was inadvertently triggered, police came to Chamberlain’s home and demanded that he open his front door. Despite his objections and statements that he did not need help, the police broke down Chamberlain’s door, tasered him, and then shot him dead. Chamberlain was a 68-year-old, African-American, retired former-Marine, and a 20-year veteran of the Westchester County Department of Corrections. He wore the medical alert bracelet due to a chronic heart problem. A grand jury reviewed the case and decided that no criminal charge would be made against police officers involved in the killing.
30-year-old Haitian immigrant, Abner Louima, was arrested and sodomized with a broomstick inside a restroom in the 70th Precinct station house in Brooklyn. The case became a national symbol of police brutality and fed perceptions that New York City police officers were harassing or abusing young black men as part a citywide crackdown on crime. One officer, Justin A. Volpe, admitted in court in May 1999 that he had rammed a broken broomstick into Mr. Louima’s rectum and then thrust it in his face. He said he had mistakenly believed that Mr. Louima had punched him in the head during a street brawl outside a nightclub in Flatbush, but he acknowledged that he had also intended to humiliate the handcuffed immigrant. He left the force and was later sentenced to 30 years in prison. The commanders of the 70th Precinct were replaced within days of the assault. As the legal case wore on, Charles Schwarz, a former police officer, was sentenced in federal court in 2002 to five years in prison for perjury stemming from the torture case. A jury found that Mr. Schwarz had lied when he testified that he had not taken Mr. Louima to the station house bathroom where the assault took place.
16-year-old Kimani was shot four times in the front and side of his body and three times in the back by two New York City police officers as he left a friend’s birthday party in Brooklyn on March 9, 2013. The only publicly identified eyewitness is standing by her claim that he was empty-handed when he was gunned down.
19-year-old college student McDade was shot and killed in March 2012 when officers responded to a report of an armed robbery of a man in Pasadena, Calif. He was later found to be unarmed, with only a cellphone in his pocket. His death has prompted his family to file a lawsuit, in which McDade’s parents argue that he was left on the street for a prolonged period of time without receiving first aid. According to court documents, McDade’s last words were, “Why did they shoot me?” The officers involved were initially placed on paid administrative leave but have since returned to duty.
Russell and his passenger, Malissa Williams, were killed in Cleveland after police officers fired 137 rounds into their car after a chase in December 2012. Officers said they saw a possible weapon, but no weapon or shell casings were found in the fleeing car or along the chase route.
Washington was shot by gang-enforcement officers Allan Corrales and George Diego in Los Angeles one night in 2010 after he approached them and appeared to remove something from his waistband. The officers said they’d heard a loud sound in the area and the 27-year-old, who was autistic, was looking around suspiciously. No weapon was ever recovered.
Police say that 29-year-old Ashley refused to stop splashing water from a drinking fountain on his face at the Denver Zoo one hot day in 2011, then made irrational comments and threw a trash can. The responding officers, who didn’t dispute that he was unarmed, killed him with a Taser, saying he had “extraordinary strength.” No criminal charges were filed against them.
Allen was fatally shot in the chest by officers executing a warrant on his house on March 7, 2012, in New Orleans. The 20-year-old was unarmed, and five children were home at the time of his death. Police found 4.5 ounces of marijuana on Allen after they killed him. An attorney for the family says that New Orleans police are investigating whether Officer Joshua Colclough was wrong to pull the trigger.
In 2005 in Sanford, Fla. (the same county in which Travyon Martin was killed), the 16-year-old was killed by two security guards, one of whom testified that Travares was trying to hit him with his car. But evidence showed that the bullet that killed the teen hit him in the middle of the back and that the guard kept firing even after the car was no longer headed toward him.
18-year-old Ramarley Graham was shot and killed in February of 2012, when Officer Richard Haste and his partner followed Graham into his grandmother’s apartment where Graham was attempting to flush a bag of marijuana down the toilet. Haste fatally shot Graham, who was unarmed, in the chest. The officers did not have a warrant to be inside the home. A Bronx judge later tossed out an indictment against the NYPD cop. No weapon was ever uncovered from the scene.
32-year-old former Marine from East Baltimore, Tyrone Brown was shot 12 times in a crowded bar after an off-duty Baltimore police officer fires 13 rounds at him for groping one of the officer’s lady friend’s. That officer, Gahiji Tshamba, was indicted for murder and faces a maximum life in prison charge if convicted. Tshamba was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
fellow white people: rather than declaring that you “are Trayvon Martin,” perhaps consider the ways in which you are George Zimmerman - the ways in which your whiteness grants you privilege in social and legal settings, how it exempts you from racial profiling and from the institutionalized racism within our economic, educational and employment systems… Consider that whiteness allows you to claim solidarity with Trayvon without actually experiencing any of these forms of racial oppression.
Ain’t this some shit…
John H. White, 54, was found guilty of the second-degree manslaughter charge that prosecutors had sought, and of criminal possession of a weapon.
He will face a maximum term of 5 to 15 years in prison.
Mr. White was convicted of shooting Daniel Cicciaro, 17, point-blank in the face on Aug. 9, 2006. Daniel and several friends had left a party and showed up Mr. White’s house just after 11 p.m. to challenge his son Aaron, then 19, to a fight, and had used threats, profanities and racial epithets. Mr. White awoke and grabbed a loaded Beretta pistol he kept in the garage of his house in Miller Place, a predominantly white hamlet on Long Island.
Mr. White testified that Aaron woke him from a deep sleep the night of the shooting, yelling that that “some kids are coming here to kill me.” Mr. White said he considered the angry teenagers a “lynch mob.”
He said their racist language recalled the hatred he saw as a child visiting the segregated Deep South and stories of his grandfather’s being chased out of Alabama in the 1920s by the Ku Klux Klan.
Mr. White testified that his grandfather taught him how to shoot and bequeathed him the pistol he used.
A lawyer for Mr. White, Frederick K. Brewington, insisted in his summation that this was a “modern-day lynch mob” and that Mr. White considered it “history replaying itself.”
THIS. THIS BULLSHIT. THIS IS THE EXACT BULLSHIT THAT CAUSES SO MUCH FUCKING OUTRAGE.
A MOB OF WHITE IDIOTS SHOW UP ON YOUR PROPERTY THREATENING YOUR FAMILY AND YOU TAKE ACTION, YOUR BLACK ASS IS GOING PRISON.
BUT IF A FAT WHITE CREEP GOES OUT OF HIS WAY TO PLAY JUDGE, JURY, AND EXECUTIONER OF A BLACK TEENAGER, AND THE SUPPORT IS OVERFLOWING. IT’S THE TEENAGER’S FAULT.
I CANNOT DEAL.
George Zimmerman got acquitted
Hammertoss George Zimmerman and the white law enforcement and white lawmakers who cosigned the death warrant he signed for a seventeen-year-old boy eating junk food while being black into the fucking sun and take anyone who thinks this is a…
I have typed and deleted so many posts responding to tonight’s verdict.
Trayvon deserved to live.
Zimmerman deserved a lifetime inside a jail cell.
Trayvon’s family deserved justice.
PoC deserve to…. EXIST without constant fear for their life.
White people, like myself, deserve to be held accountable for the wrong that we do.
And this was literally the first thing that came to mind with the first comment I read of “but we have the Stand Your Ground law so Zimmerman had to be found not guilty!” No. No he didn’t. But this woman should not be serving jail time and she is. Where is her justice? Where are the people who support Stand Your Ground in favor of Zimmerman when it comes to supporting this woman who DIDN’T EVEN SHOOT A HUMAN BEING, let alone kill one.
Jenny Holzer, Untitled, from Survival Series, 1983-85