George Zimmerman

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On this morning's Fox and Friends, talk show host Geraldo Rivera blamed Trayvon Martin's shooting on his attire, saying his hoodie was as much responsible for his death as George Zimmerman was.

"I am urging the parents of black and Latino particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies," Rivera told his unfazed Fox News colleagues.

He went on to claim that the hoodie bears negative connotations that cannot be "rehabilitated."

"I bet you money," said Rivera, upping the audacity ante, "[I]f [Martin] didn’t have that hoodie on that nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn’t have responded in that violent and aggressive way." 


Follow Up George Zimmerman Trayvon Martin - 6003648000
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A few hours after press secretary Jay Carney told reporters the White House is "not going to wade into a local law-enforcement matter," the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the FBI both announced that they will yield to requests to investigate the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

"The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation," said the DOJ in a statement.

Despite moving forward with the investigation, the Justice Department sought in the same statement to temper expectations: "With all federal civil rights crimes, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted intentionally and with the specific intent to do something which the law forbids — the highest level of intent in criminal law."

One of the major impediments to an open-and-shut manslaughter case against Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, is Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which permits residents to "meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm."

Zimmerman told police that Martin attacked him from behind as he was walking back towards his truck, and it was fear for his life that prompted him to fire his Kel Tec 9mm handgun.

In addition to the DOJ and the FBI, Florida's state attorney, Norm Wolfinger, announced this morning that a grand jury will be called to investigate the case. "I share in the desire of the family and the community to accurately collect and evaluate all the facts surrounding the tragic death of Trayvon Martin," said Wolfinger in a press release. The grand jury will convene on April 10th.

Also this morning, ABC News revealed that Martin was on the phone with a female friend moments before he was shot by Zimmerman. The 16-year-old girl spoke with Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump, and recalled their final conversation.

"He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man," the unidentified girl is quoted as saying. "I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run."

The last thing she remembers is Martin trying to escape by running, but being cornered by Zimmerman who asked him what he was doing there. "Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell," she said. "I called him again and he didn't answer the phone."

In an effort to drive home the racial motivation behind Zimmerman's actions, Touré pointed to the self-appointed neighborhood watch captain's 911 call, where, at 2:21, it sounds as though Zimmerman is whispering "f*ckin' coons." After listening to Zimmerman's exchange with the emergency dispatcher, New York Times columnist Nick Kristof said he found "shades of 1950's Mississippi" in the tape.


All Kinds Of Wrong George Zimmerman Trayvon Martin - 5964237056
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This Is All Kinds Of Wrong of the Day: The family of a slain black teen is demanding to know why the white neighborhood watch captain who shot him is not behind bars.

On February 26th, 28-year-old George Zimmerman, a Seminole State College student, shot and killed 17-year-old high school junior Trayvon Martin in the Orlando, Florida suburb of Sanford.

Martin, an African-American whose father and stepmother live in the predominantly white gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, was walking home from a convenience store after purchasing a bag of Skittles, when he was confronted by Zimmerman.

The official police report says Zimmerman had earlier called to police to alert them of a "suspicious person in the area" and was told not to pursue. He complained that "They always get away," before continuing his pursuit.

According to Zimmerman's report, Martin, upon realizing that he was being followed, asked the self-appointed neighborhood watch captain what his problem was. At some point a scuffle ensued, and Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest with his 9mm handgun. He later told police he was acting in self-defense.

"He had a gun, and Trayvon had Skittles," said Benjamin Crump, attorney for Martin's family. "[The police] say they are still investigating. I'm not sure what there is to investigate."

Martin's family attempted to put pressure on investigators yesterday by gathering outside the Sandford Police Department to rally for Zimmerman's arrest, but police officials refused to address the protesters.

Martin's family filed a public records lawsuit to obtain a tape of the 911 call Zimmerman made prior to the shooting to ensure that all the facts are out in the open.

Last week, Sanford PD Chief Bill Lee said he didn't think Zimmerman intended to shoot Martin, but said they would "present all the information" to the Seminole County State Attorney’s Office and let them decide if Zimmerman was defending himself.

WFTV has since uncovered Zimmerman's criminal record, which includes a 2005 arrest for resisting arrest and battery on a law enforcement officer. The case was ultimately dismissed.

[huffpo / wftv / photo: abcnews.]