Chanting "we want an arrest, shot in the chest," an estimated 1,000 people marched in Sanford, Florida, today, united by a common goal: an arrest of 28-year-old Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman in connection with the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Starting at 11 a.m. at the Crooms Academy of Information Technology, the Orlando Sentinel reports, the protesters, some of whom were bussed in from elsewhere in the country, marched up the city's 13th Street to the Sanford Police headquarters. There, local NAACP President Turner Clayton told the crowd, "We want a clean house at Sanford Police Department." It was a reference to Chief Bill Lee, who has temporarily resigned pending an investigation into the shooting by the U.S. Department of Justice. Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton and national NAACP President Benjamin Jealous also marched through the "predominantly black neighborhood," MSNBC reports. At a press conference prior to the march, Jealous and Sharpton shot down reports that Sharpton had planned to call for an economic boycott of Sanford and the surrounding area: "Put to rest the rumor that there is any discussion of a boycott of the community," Jealous said, though Sharpton maintained that there could still be action against any private corporations that voice support for the Stand Your Ground laws Stanford police cited in not arresting Zimmerman. "We take nothing nonviolent off the table," Sharpton said.
Elsewhere, the eyewitness account of a Miami funeral director who examined Martin's body and found "no cuts, scratches or bruises, only a gunshot wound to the chest" seems to contradict the story put forth by Zimmerman's brother Robert on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, who claimed his brother was "barely conscious" following his physical altercation with Martin, and would have been "dead if he had not acted decisively and instantaneously in that moment when he was being disarmed.” It's that interview that caused a fiery confrontation between Morgan and cultural critic Touré, who angrily accused Morgan of lobbing softballs at the brother in an interview he deemed to be morally reprehensible. Cooler heads prevailed in the case of director Spike Lee, who tweeted an apology and privately made amends with the elderly couple who he mistakenly assumed were Zimmerman's parents, and whose address he broadcast to a quarter-million followers. And Vice President Joe Biden told CBS' Bob Schieffer that the case may require a harder look at America's lax gun laws, saying, "It's important that people be put in a position where their Second Amendment rights are protected, but that they also don't, as a consequence of the laws, unintendedly put themselves in harm's way."
UPDATE: Two voice identification experts have eliminated George Zimmerman as being the voice calling out for help on the 911 call made seconds before Martin was shot, The Orlando Sentinel reports.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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