The Sham Investigation Into Trayvon Martin's Killing

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As it happens, Trayvon Martin was on the phone when George Zimmerman was following him. The young lady with whom he was speaking, through her lawyer, talked to ABC News:

"He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man," Martin's friend said. "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." 

Eventually he would run, said the girl, thinking that he'd managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering Martin. "Trayvon said, 'What, are you following me for,' and the man said, 'What are you doing here.' Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell. I called him again and he didn't answer the phone." 

The line went dead. Besides screams heard on 911 calls that night as Martin and Zimmerman scuffled, those were the last words he said.
ABC News verified that Martin did talk to the young lady by looking at his phone records. I don't know that they can corroborate the exact contents of the conversation.

Nevertheless, when you read this, it's worth remembering the tale Zimmerman told the cops:
Zimmerman said he had stepped out of his truck to check the name of the street he was on when Trayvon attacked him from behind as he walked back to his truck, police said. He said he feared for his life and fired the semiautomatic handgun he was licensed to carry because he feared for his life.  
This tale was broadly repeated by Zimmerman's father who claimed that his son had neither pursued nor confronted Martin.

We know that this is almost certainly fiction. We have Zimmerman's on the 911 call explicitly stating that he was pursuing Martin because, "These assholes. They always get away."And we now have someone on the phone claiming a "strange man" was following Martin. 

Again, I don't know that Zimmerman will ever do a lick of jail time, or even see a court room. But what angers people is not simply that Zimmerman might get off, but that the Sanford police would conduct a shoddy investigation, claim it was thorough, and then claim that all who objected were compromised by prejudice:
Our investigation is color blind and based on the facts and circumstances, not color. I know I can say that until I am blue in the face, but, as a white man in a uniform, I know it doesn't mean anything to anybody.
This investigation wasn't one. It was a sham, an homage to the bad old days of Southern justice. Lee should resign. 

Emily Bazelon has more on the actual laws in Florida, though the more I see of this, the less I think "Stand Your Ground" will save Zimmerman.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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