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Trayvon Martin Case

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On a private errand, Zimmerman noticed that Martin was walking around within the parameters of the gated community in a suspicious manner. On the other hand, Martin was visiting the home of his father and his father’s fiancee. (Sendensky). Zimmerman first phoned the Sanford Police Department with the intention to report about Martin’s suspicious behavior. After the call ended, it is said that there was an altercation between the two, with Zimmerman being pinned down to the ground by Martin. This forced Zimmerman to fatally shoot Martin at a close range in self-defense. Zimmerman has claimed self-defense, saying he opened fire after Martin punched him in the face, knocked him to the ground and began slamming his head on the sidewalk. (Sendensky). With police finding no evidence against Zimmerman’s version of self-defense, he was left off. That created huge stir, with certain sections of the media and the public implying racial bias for the release of Zimmerman, thereby reporting the crime in self-defense as a hate crime. That is, when the facts of the case, versions of the witnesses and the dubious role played by the media are viewed critically, it implies that the Trayvon Martin case is being blown out of proportion as a hate crime, even involving celebrities. Speaking about celebrities, many came in support of Martin asking for the immediate arrest of Zimmerman. That is, when Zimmerman was let off, the issue snowballed into a major issue when the media started focusing on it. The first action which raised awareness of this issue was carried out by Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, who created a petition in the website, Change.org. It attracted over 2.2 million signatures and that made the issue gain more attention. (Stableford). As Martin was killed while he was donning a hoodie, people supporting his side started wearing hoodie as a sign of protest. This form of protest spread to various U.S. cities, as protest marches labeled as Million Hoodie Marches or Hundred hoodie marches were organized extensively. That is when celebrities came into the picture. Celebrities including Nelly, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, P. Diddy, Luda, Tia Mowry, members of the Miami Heat, etc., tweeted or posted photos in various social networking websites of themselves wearing hoodies. (Shapiro) (Stableford). This created heightened media focus regarding the murder and non-arrest of Zimmerman. Then, a large gathering was organized in the Union Square in New York, where many civil rights leaders like Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, etc., participated and voiced their protests against the non-arrest and lack of serious charges against Zimmerman. Even the American President, Barack Obama asked for an impartial probe in the issue. At the same time, celebrities’ particularly film director, Spike Lee’s action against Zimmerman and his family came under scrutiny. With many radical groups offering rewards and calls to ‘capture’ Zimmerman if the police are unable to do, Lee retweeted an alleged address of Zimmerman to his 200,000 Twitter followers. That address came out to be a wrong one, with an elderly couple occupying that address leading to criticism of Lee’s action. Spike Lee’s retweet of a tweet thought to contain the address of Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman has resulted in a firestorm of criticism—