The parents of Trayvon Martin walked into the 9th floor board room at the Washington Post with grief etched in their faces. Then, again, it’s difficult to mourn and heal when your son’s killer is free and you’re doing everything you can to see that he at least gets arrested. Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, along with their lawyer Benjamin Crump and Daryl Parks, spent nearly 90 minutes answering questions from reporters and editors of The Post. They answered every question forthrightly and without evasion. The disbelief was as plainly apparent in their answers as it was on their faces.
I’ve asked a series of questions in two posts about what happened that Feb. 26 evening in Sanford, Fla. Today, I got some of the answers.
Trayvon’s cell phone
Trayvon was on his cell phone with his girlfriend when Zimmerman was following him. The girlfriend told ABC:
“Trayvon said, ‘What, are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.’ Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell. I called him again and he didn’t answer the phone.”
Martin told us that he, too, tried calling the cell phone when he couldn’t find him. His calls went straight to voicemail. The phone “was taken into evidence,” he said. “They have it.”
One of the family’s complaints is that police didn’t canvass the neighborhood to determine whether Trayvon lived there. More galling, according to Fulton, the police didn’t bother to go through Trayvon’s cell phone to try to reach them. It wouldn’t have been difficult. According to Fulton, “‘Mom,’ ‘dad,’ ‘auntie’ are [programmed] in his phone.”
Yesterday, I wrote about the quirk in the timing in the “Partial Report Only” filed at 3:07 a.m. on Feb. 27. Trayvon was toe-tagged as a John Doe. Sanford Police and Martin didn’t make contact until later that day at his girlfriend’s home. It was there that Martin positively identified Trayvon based on a photograph shown to him by police. Yet that report filed in the early morning hours of Feb. 27 has Trayvon’s full name, address and phone number listed. Fulton said that address and phone number listed would have been hers and that she did not and has not received a call from the police at the number.
The question remains, how did the Sanford Police get that information? Martin said the Sanford police ran a background check on Trayvon. But Martin and Fulton told us that Trayvon didn’t carry any identification that would have his home address and phone number on it. They said his school ID wouldn’t have his home address and phone number on it. But they also said, “We can’t find his wallet.”
Investigator Chris Serino
The police officer who came to Martin’s girlfriend’s house to meet with him was Investigator Chris Serino. He was the one who told Martin the version of events that took place. “The whole story didn’t sit well with me,” Martin said. Apparently, the story didn’t sit well with Serino either. According to ABC News, the detective “filed an affidavit on Feb. 26, the night that Martin was shot and killed by Zimmerman, that stated he was unconvinced [by] Zimmerman's version of events.”