Trayvon Martin Case updates
CYRIL JOSH BARKER Amsterdam News Staff | 4/25/2012, 5:06 p.m.
George Zimmerman is free once again after a judge in Florida granted his bond be set at $150,000 on Friday, which he made late Sunday night.
Zimmerman walked out of jail a free man until his May 29 arraignment but with certain conditions. He must be monitored via GPS, contact authorities every three days, have no contact with Trayvon Martin's family, cannot posses any weapons and cannot use any controlled substances except prescription drugs.
Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's attorney, requested that his client be allowed to reside outside of Florida for safety reasons. The court ordered that Zimmerman hand over his passport so he can't flee the country.
In February, Martin, 17, was shot and killed by Zimmerman, who was patrolling a gated community as a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman suspected Martin, walking back from a convenience store and unarmed, of criminal activity. Zimmerman fired shots during a scuffle between the two after a confrontation. Many believe the incident was brought about by racial profiling.
When Zimmerman took the stand, he apologized to Martin's family for the fatal shooting.
"I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son." he said. Zimmerman added that he did not know how old Martin was and whether Martin was armed.
Reports indicate that Zimmerman pled not guilty to second-degree murder charges on April 12.
Police chief debacle
Earlier this week, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee attempted to resign from his job amidst heavy criticism of his department's failure to initially arrest of Zimmerman. Last month, Lee temporarily stepped down from his position.
However, the city commission rejected Lee's resignation by a 3-2 vote. Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett, who voted in favor of Lee staying, said that he wanted to wait for an internal review of the incident before Lee resigned.
"I felt that, based upon the fact that I would not have the information I think I need for at least several months and the lack of confidence in the city commission and Chief Lee, to move the city forward, we need to keep going," City Manager Norton Bonaparte said.
The Black Communities Responce
In a statement, the Rev. Al Sharpton said that the National Action Network will continue to monitor the legal procedures as they advance. He also noted that Zimmerman had plenty of opportunities to apologize before Friday and that the 'stand your ground' law remains an issue.
"National Action Network's concern is that there be a fair trial, and it is imperative that a review of the 'stand your ground' law be conducted, because after today's hearing, it is clearly the strategy of the defense," Sharpton said. "As long as this law stands on the books in Florida and other states, we consider this a danger and we are committed to fighting that law."
Protests continue in response to the shooing that has gained global attention. On Sunday, members of Occupy Harlem held a demonstration at the Harlem State Office Building in support of Martin's family and denouncing racial profiling.