In Florida, marchers express outrage at Trayvon Martin shooting
SANFORD, Fla. —About 1,000 protesters marched along the cracked pavement of one of Florida’s oldest black communities on Saturday to reiterate that apathy won’t be an option for those outraged by the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.
The NAACP organized the march and rally Saturday in the Goldsboro community. A coalition of national civil-rights organizers, community leaders, clergy members and droves of residents gathered to demand the arrest of George Zimmerman for the 17-year-old’s shooting death on Feb. 26.
The Rev. Al Sharptoncame to a podium outside Sanford Police Department headquarters amid raucous cheers. But he revealed few details about a plan he’d announced Friday for economic sanctions to force authorities to arrest Zimmerman.
Instead, he talked generally about sanctions against corporations that support and fund “stand your ground” laws.
Benjamin Jealous, national president of the NAACP, said no one was calling for a boycott of local businesses.
Meanwhile, the Orlando Sentinel reported the results of its inquiry into a lingering question in the case: Who was heard crying for help on a 911 call in the moments before Martin was shot?
On the night of the shooting, a woman called 911 to report someone crying out for help in her gated Sanford community. Though several of her neighbors eventually called authorities, she phoned early enough for dispatchers to hear the panicked cries and the gunshot that took Trayvon Martin’s life.
Zimmerman, who has claimed self-defense in the shooting, told police he was the one screaming for help.
But Tom Owen, forensic consultant for Owen Forensic Services LLC and chairman emeritus of the American Board of Recorded Evidence, used voice identification software to compare Zimmerman’s voice to the 911 screams. He ruled out the neighborhood watch volunteer.
The software returned a 48% match. Owen said that to reach a positive match with audio of such quality, he’d expect higher than 90%.
“You can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it’s not Zimmerman,” Owen says, stressing that he could not confirm the voice as Trayvon’s because he didn’t have a sample of the teen’s voice to compare.
Another expert contacted by the Sentinel, utilizing different techniques, came to the same conclusion.
Outside police headquarters on Saturday, Jealous introduced Brenden Mitchell, a youth leader with the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People.
“I am 17 years old. I’m a high school student. I’m a young black man,” Mitchell said in a fiery speech. “I could be the next Trayvon Martin.”
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