Memphis activists watching Florida shooting case - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis activists watching Florida shooting case

Trayvon Martin, FL, Teen killed by neighborhood watch volunteer, photo courtesy: Martin family. Trayvon Martin, FL, Teen killed by neighborhood watch volunteer, photo courtesy: Martin family.

(WMC-TV) – Federal prosecutors and the FBI are now investigating the death of an unarmed teen by a Neighborhood Watch captain in Florida.

The whole country is paying close attention to this case after the watch captain claimed the shooting was in self-defense even though just released 911 tapes call his claim into question.

Protests continue in Sanford, FL, as people demand justice.

They want George Zimmerman arrested for the deadly shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The teen was shot as he walked through a gated community where Zimmerman was a volunteer Neighborhood Watch commander

"This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something," Zimmerman told a 911 operator.

"He's got his hand in his waistband, and he's a black male," he later told the operator.

Trayvon Martin was unarmed, but Zimmerman told police he fired in self defense.

"Just think about that, someone could be walking behind you, minding their own business and you feel threatened and you turn around and shoot him," said Rev. Dwight Montgomery, a Memphis civil rights activist. "That doesn't make sense."

Montgomery, pastor of Annesdale Baptist Church and leader of the Memphis chapter of the SCLC, says what's happened in Florida has caught the attention of Memphians and some may head down to the sunshine state.

"We're very concerned; people are very upset," he said. "We're just on call to see whatever we need to do from where we are."

This incident brings back similar memories of five years ago when white West Memphis police officer Erik Sammis accidentally shot and killed a 12-year-old African-American DeAunte Farrow.

As local activists in Memphis decide what their next move will be, the Department of Justice says its sending community relations workers to try to relieve tensions in the Florida community while they continue their civil rights investigation.

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