BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After public outcry, new investigations are launched in the controversial death of a Florida teenager.
Adam May reports the case has outraged people across the country, including a former Baltimore mayor who’s now a leader in civil rights and the law.
Florida prosecutors have instructed a grand jury to investigate the death of Trayvon Martin. The unarmed teenager was walking through a gated community near Orlando, when he was shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer.
When 28-year-old George Zimmerman called police before the shooting, a dispatcher told him to leave the teen alone. Soon after, another neighbor called 911 to report screams, possibly from the teen.
“So you think he’s yelling `Help’?” said the dispatcher.
“Yes, there’s gunshots,” said the caller.
“I was just…just shocked when I heard about the case,” said Kurt Schmoke.
Former mayor of Baltimore and the current dean of Howard Law Kurt Schmoke sent a letter to the Martins’ lawyer offering assistance.
“I didn’t think the family had resources to hire some big law firm so Howard Law, with its history of social justice involvement, seemed to be the right place to provide that support,” Schmoke said.
The Martin family attorney has some powerful evidence. A 16-year-old girl claims she was on the phone with Trayvon moments before the shooting and he said he feared he was being followed.
Almost a month since the incident triggered calls for the arrest of the shooter, the Department of Justice and the FBI also announced plans to launch their own investigations.
Mayor Schmoke hasn’t heard a response to his offer yet, but he expects to. He personally knows a member of the law firm representing the Martin family.