NBC Miami posted a news package profiling George Zimmerman, the man who claimed to local police he shot 17 year old Trayvon Martin in self-defense on February 26, within a gated community in Sanford, Florida. While bits and pieces of the case continue to be released, the Justice Department has been called upon to look into the fatal shooting further. Capitol Hill is wasting no time. Senator Chuck Schumer, New York Democrat, for example, is calling for a federal probe of Florida’s “Stand your Ground” law. Republicans argue that law did not apply in the Zimmerman-Martin case.
In a letter sent to the Orlando Sentinel Mr. Zimmerman’s father, Robert Zimmerman, said that his son is Hispanic and grew up in a multiracial family.
According to the NBC Miami Mr. Zimmerman grew up in Virginia, had a couple of run ins with the law, and is a self described Democrat:
Still relatively little is known about George Zimmerman, 28, who told Sanford Police he shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense in a gated community on Feb. 26. Zimmerman co-owned a pressure washing business for a time, calls himself a Democrat, and while he lived in several local addresses recently, he grew up in Virginia, NBC 6’s Jeff Burnside reports. Friends say he loved being the neighborhood crime watch guy, and records show he called police more than 40 times since the start of 2011. Yet he had run-ins with the law. Records show he had a domestic violence charge, and was arrested for pushing a police officer, though that charge was later dropped after community service.
The Trayvon Martin case has become politically charged over the last week and a half. Protests surrounding the Trayvon Martin shooting show members of the New Black Panther Party as well as Reverend Al Sharpton and his National Action Network demanding the capture and arrest of Mr. Zimmerman.
President Barack Obama remarked on Friday that “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” Film director Spike Lee re-tweeted out Mr.Zimmerman’s purported home address.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called the president’s comments “disgraceful” saying that “Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe, period. We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background.”
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, however, took a different approach than the former speaker on the issue. He appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday and said:
“Well, you know, obviously, I’m not privy to what’s going on in someone’s mind. Obviously, in my opinion, someone … has a very sick mind who would pursue someone like this. This is clearly a heinous act. You know, there are a lot of people who have a lot of distorted views of reality. It’s a tragic, tragic case.”