SANFORD, Fla. — Police have released audio 911 tapes in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager killed by a neighborhood watch captain while walking home from a store.
In eight chilling recordings, made the night of February 26, listeners can hear the frightened voices of neighbors calling to report to screams for help, gunshots, and then that someone was dead.
In perhaps the most disturbing of the recordings, a frightened voice cries out for help and pleading “No! No!” and then wailing.
And for the first time, we hear the voice of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who admitted to police that he shot Martin, who was walking home from a convenience store to his father’s home in the gated community. Zimmerman has not been arrested or charged in the shooting.
“This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something,” Zimmerman tells the 911 operator. “He’s just staring, looking at all the houses. Now he’s coming toward me. He’s got his hand in his waistband. Something’s wrong with him.”
Zimmerman described Martin as wearing a hoodie and sweatpants or jeans. He continues: “He’s coming to check me out. He’s got something in his hands. I don’t know what his deal is. Can we get an officer over here?”
“These assholes always get away,” he says to the operator. Zimmerman is then heard giving directions to the dispatcher. “Shit, he’s running,” Zimmerman says.
“Are you following him?” the dispatchers asked.
“Yes,” Zimmerman responds.
“We don’t need you to do that,” the dispatcher says.
This is what happens when people knowingly perpetuate stereotypes. This is what happens when college kids have “ghetto” or “hoppin the border” parties. This is what happen when the media only casts Black men in stereotypical roles. That shit isn’t innocent. It isn’t “just a costume”. It isn’t “just clean fun”. That shit gets people killed.