Trayvon Martin was racially profiled, but not by George Zimmerman

The Miami-Dade Schools Police Department intentionally excused him from criminal punishment because he was a young black male. Photo: Trayvon Martin

FLORIDA, July 15, 2013 — Sanford, Florida neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman has been acquitted of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.  

Since then, many pro-Trayvon Martin activists have claimed that Zimmerman is nonetheless guilty of racially profiling Martin. The Department of Justice is now investigating whether or not Zimmerman waged racially-motivated violence against Martin, despite the agency having organized pro-Martin protests in the past.


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Few legal experts believe that there is any ground for civil rights charges to be filed. Last year, the FBI conducted an inquiry and determined that Zimmerman was not a racist.

What is certain, though, is that Martin was racially profiled by the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department. As he attended a public high school within the MDSPD’s jurisdiction, he was subject to selectively lax law enforcement policies.

These were determined on the basis of race and gender.

In a sworn affidavit, now-reassigned MDSPD Chief Charles Hurley spoke about programs his agency utilized to refrain from ushering black male youth into the criminal justice system. 


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After Martin was found to be writing graffiti on school property, the situation was handled in a peculiar fashion.

“In this case, T.M., or any other youth in similar cases, and evaluate the totality of circumstance and issue either a warning and give it back to the administration to handle,” Hurley explained.

“We can in fact, of course issue a civil citation which is an arrest diversion program which was actually created by this police department and authored under my time as a sergeant and a commander here at Miami-Dade Schools Police Department. Or we can in fact, make a full blown arrest because technically there was damage and defacing of school property.

“There was probable cause to make this arrest and we know who the person was that committed this damage. In this interest in taking that approach it does nothing to benefit the child and the officer in this case should be commended for exercising discretion and referring it back to the school administration for administrative purposes.”


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That is not all, though.

“(S)ometime in February, shortly before the child was killed he had another contact with our police department in which he was found to be in possession or close proximity of an empty marijuana bag or bag with small amount of marijuana residue and possibly some other type of contraband, both a misdemeanor. Just like the criminal mischief case I spoke about, a misdemeanor,” Hurley later mentioned.

“The officer once again exercised tremendous constraint and discretion of which has been my chief concern as the chief of this police department and that is changing the philosophy of this police department as it relates to being heavy handed and arresting juveniles.

“Particularly, children of color, minority children. Particularly, minority boys, such as African-American boys. The child once again was handed back to the school administration and subsequently suspended. It is during that time of suspension where this boy was visiting his father in Sanford where he was killed.”  

Other affidavits were taken from Sergeant William Tagle, former Commander Deanna Fox Williams, and Detective Steven Hadley, all of the MDSPD. Their statements bring about a severely troubling revelation. 

“Those three frame the cover-up and describe what they found Officer Darryl Dunn was doing at the request of Charles Hurley and Alberto Carvalho,” said Sundance of The Conservative Tree House, a popular blog which has covered the Martin shooting’s aftermath detailedly.  

Dunn, who gave a deposition of his own, serves in the MDSPD. Carvalho is the superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He was once slated to replace incumbent U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, but ultimately refused the appointment.  

“Dunn puts the final nail in Hurley’s coffin because he specifically backs up what he told Hadley by telling the Internal Affairs people the reason he hid the jewelry, and later the marijuana, was at the specific instruction of Chief Hurley,” Sundance pointed out. “Dunn wrote up both of those aspects as generic ‘found items’, removing Trayvon from the inherent attached criminality.”


Far-left? Far-right? Get realRead more from “The Conscience of a Realist” by Joseph F. Cotto 


 


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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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