More than 400,000 sign Trayvon Martin petition

5:58 AM, Mar 20, 2012   |    comments
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Trayvon Martin
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  • Online Petition for Trayvon Martin
  • UPDATE: The Seminole County Branch of the NAACP is calling for a town hall meeting because it feels neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman should have been arrested based on the evidence in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

    Photo Gallery: FL teen killed by neighborhood watch volunteer

    Zimmerman admitted to shooting the teen, but has yet to be arrested.

    Branch preisdent, Turner Clayton Jr, stated, "It is time for the police department to give an account of its action in this case because we do not agree with this so called self-defense finding."

    The mayor, city manager and chief of police have all agreed to attend the meeting.

    It will take place Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at Allen Chapel AME Zion Church, at 1203 Olive Avenue in Sanford.

    EARLIER STORY:

    Many of those signing the online petition live in the Tampa Bay Area while others are from as far away as Thailand.

    Laura Julien of Tampa signed the petition. She says, "I shared it with everyone on my email list. Black and White."

    Julien says her heart goes out to the parents of Trayvon Martin. Monday evening, she was one of more than 400,000 people who'd signed the petition.

    UPDATE: Late Monday evening after a day of protests in Sanford and Tallahassee it was announced that the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI have now opened an investigation into the Martin case.

    Julien is a mother and grandmother and says even though her son is grown, she's still deeply troubled by the circumstances surrounding Martin's death. She says, "It's almost like a creed that our children have to live underneath, this cloud of no matter what they're doing they're looking suspicious just because of who they are."

    "Suspicious" is the way 28-year-old George Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, described Trayvon Martin to a 9-1-1 operator.  He can be heard on the tape saying, "This guy looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something."

    He also says, "He's got something in his hands. I don't know what his deal is. These a*&%$#@!* they always get away." 

    The dispatcher says to Zimmerman, "Are you following him?" Zimmerman says yes and the dispatcher replies, "We don't need you to do that."

    Martin is from Miami. He was watching the NBA All-Star game back on Feb. 26 while visiting his father and stepmother at their home in a gated community of Sanford. He left to purchase a bag of Skittles candies and a can of AriZona Iced Tea for his younger brother at a nearby 7-Eleven convenience store. Martin was dressed in a hooded sweatshirt. It had been raining and he had the hood pulled over his head.

    He was not armed and was carrying a cell phone.

    Zimmerman has a concealed weapons license and was carrying a 9 millimeter handgun. Neighbors say they heard a fight and started dialing 9-1-1 to report screams and then a gunshot. Martin was shot in the chest and died.

    Martin's father says a person heard screaming in the 9-1-1 call was his son. Zimmerman, however, maintains the incident was self defense and that he suffered a bloody nose in a scuffle with Martin before shooting him.

    The fact that Zimmerman hasn't been charged is something that seems totally unfair to Laura Julien, who adds, "I was outraged. I was angered. It's as if our lives don't mean a thing."

    People living at The Retreat of Twin Lakes property where the shooting occured say Zimmerman would often go door-to-door warning residents to be careful of young black males. He contacted police 46 times since Jan. 1, 2011 to report criminal activity and other incidents. He is credited with stopping some crime.

    Martin's family is calling on Norman Wolfinger, Florida's 18th district state's attorney, to investigate their son's death and  prosecute Zimmerman. They're asking others to help them by signing a petition. Click here if you'd like to do so.

    While the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is going to look into the case, Martin's family wanted the FBI to take over this case. They say it's a civil rights issue.

    Photo Gallery: Trayvon Martin photos

    More Trayvon Martin stories:

    Trayvon Martin case to go before grand jury

    Bubba the Love Sponge comments on Trayvon Martin

    Trayvon Martin's death renews Stand Your Ground debate

    More than 40000 sign Trayvon Martin petition

    Trayvon Martin's parents call for FBI probe

    Trayvon Martin's death gains national attention

    Trayvon Martin: Protestors rally at Florida capitol

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