First of all, in a new media word, the Trayvon Martin case has now reached the court of the public Internet. For those who see this as unfair, this is now the new media, where everything gets shared and anything can go viral. Like we said from Day 1, if the Sanford Police actually handled their investigation on February 26 correctly (and there are serious questions about it), there would not be a social media firestorm about this brutal tragedy.
So this week, we see law enforcement leaks to newspapers about what the police have as evidence. Yet they seem to be forgetting the following witnesses who were interviewed by The Miami Herald last week:
Three witnesses contacted by The Miami Herald say they saw or heard the moments before and after the Miami Gardens teenager’s killing. All three said they heard the last howl for help from a despondent boy, and believe the sequence of sounds shatters the notion that Trayvon was killed in self-defense."
“I heard someone crying — not boo-hoo crying, but scared or terrified or hurt maybe,” said Mary Cutcher, 31, who lives in the Retreat at Twin Lakes townhome community where the shooting occurred. “To me, it was a child.”
Zimmerman said he tailed Trayvon in a mission to find out if the teen was up to no good. Zimmerman was out to put a stop to recent burglaries. He dialed police — his 46th call since 2001 to report shady people, reckless drivers and other disturbances around his neighborhood.
He offered to follow his suspect, but the dispatcher told him: “We don’t need you to do that.”
Some minutes later, Trayvon was killed with a gun the watch volunteer was licensed to carry.
“This was not self-defense,” Cutcher said. “We heard no fighting, no wrestling, no punching. We heard a boy crying. As soon as the shot went off, it stopped, which tells me it was the child crying. If it had been Zimmerman crying, it wouldn’t have stopped. If you’re hurting, you’re hurting.”
She and her friend say they heard the sounds from a few steps away, where they were inside beside an open window. Seconds later, they dashed out to find a boy face down on the ground and a man standing over him, a foot on each side of the body on the ground, with his hands pinning the shooting victim down.
“I asked him, ‘What’s happening here? What’s going on?’ ” said Cutcher’s friend, Selma Mora Lamilla. “The third time, I was indignant, and he said, ‘just call the police.’ Then I saw him with his hands over his head in the universal sign of: ‘Oh man, I messed up.’ ”
The women, who were the first on the scene, said they saw Zimmerman pacing back and forth.
“I know what I heard. I heard a cry and a shot,” Mora said. “If there was a fight, it did not happen here where the boy was shot. I would have heard it, as this all happened right outside my open window.”
The Herald also wrote about another witness:
A neighborhood eighth-grader out walking his dog said his family also called 911.
“I saw someone lying on the ground, and I heard screaming,” said Austin, 13, whose mother asked that his last name not be published. “I don’t know that it was the person on the [ground] who was screaming, but to me it sounded like a kid who was crying. It was a yell for help, and I think it was Trayvon.”
Austin wasn’t sure if the person was in a fight or had slipped and gotten hurt. Austin’s boxer puppy got off the leash so the boy went chasing after the dog and lost sight of the scene for a moment. Then, he heard a gun go off.
He ran home and told his sister to call the police.
The boy, who is black, has been rattled ever since. He feels angry and disconcerted, and wonders whether he’s at risk too.
“That people can stereotype like that makes you scared,” he said.
Austin’s mom said he’s been acting out in school and seems mad all the time.
“My son has a terrible feeling of guilt, because he did not do anything to help. He’s angry,” said Austin’s mother, Cheryl Brown. “They are saying that Trayvon looked suspicious, because he was walking slow. So I guess I have to tell my son: make sure you always run fast.”