The TV series explores the significance of the death of Trayvon Martin

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The TV series explores the significance of the death of Trayvon Martin
A series of Paramount Networks shows how Trayvon Martin’s shooting deaths six years ago led to black life events and a review of Florida’s “holding on legislation”.

RACHEL MARTIN, moderator:

It has been six years since Trayvon Martin came back from a convenience store in Sanford, Florida. Martin is 17 years old and unarmed. The shooter is a 28-year-old neighborhood watchman named George Zimmerman. Martin’s death and Zimmerman’s final acquittal became national news.

(SOUNDBITE of the file, “REST IN POWER”)

Unidentified people #1: Suddenly, everyone knows who Trayvon Martin is.

Unknown person #2: Trayvon.

Unknown person #3: Trayvon.

Unidentified people #4: Trayvon Martin.

Unidentified people #1: This is like an explosion.

Martin: This is a new documentary series called “Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story.” The series reviews Zimmerman’s trial and explains why Martin’s death is relevant today. Karen Grigsby Bates from the Code Switch team has more.

KAREN GRIGSBY BATES, BYLINE: “Rest in Power” began with a great national sympathy for the young Trayvon Martin. Then, US President Barack Obama held a press conference and said these words.

(SOUNDBITE of the press conference)

Barack Obama: You know, if I have a son, he looks like Trayvon.

Bates: Director Julia Willoughby Nason.

JULIA WILLOUGHBY NASON: You know, it is not done in a compassionate way to determine race in this country. And I think Obama is very compassionate and straightforward to say that he – Traveen may look like him.

BATES: However, series co-director Jenner Furst said that this simple observation immediately alienated many American whites.

JENNER FURST: For the second time, Obama said that Trayvon might be his son, and it became a window for right-wing commentators to start changing their reports.

Bates: Like Bill O’Reilly, the star of Fox News.

(SOUNDBITE for archived records)

BILL O’REILLY: Zimmerman is not treated fairly.

FURST: George Zimmerman is now a victim of an overreaching president.

Bates: Tracy Martin, the father of Trayvon, told me last week that he immediately felt the change.

TRACY MARTIN: In this case, Trayvon is the victim. So they tried to make him a villain in this situation.

Bates: It’s not George Zimmerman’s trial now, but Trayvon and his family and friends. He was criticized for skipping school and was suspended for writing on lockers. A forensic report showed that he had marijuana in his system that night. In the jury selection scenario of the trial in 2013, a potential juror seemed to think that bad parenting eventually led to Trayvon dying in her town.

(SOUNDBITE for archived records)

Unidentified people #5: As a single parent, there are two my own boys, I don’t want to judge. But I just want to say that if he didn’t come here, this could be prevented.

Bates: The last woman on the TV conversation with Trayvon, Rachel Jeantel’s TV cross-examination is cruel. It won’t be easier when the series is replayed. Janet is a reluctant prosecution witness. He is a 19-year-old who answered the strong questions of the defense with the wrong phrase. Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, still expressed dissatisfaction with Jeantel’s treatment.

SYBRINA FULTON: I only think she is the daughter of someone. She is the sister of someone. You know she is a friend of someone. She deserves respect.

BATES: A defense lawyer questioned Jeantel’s literacy rate in the stands and made a sloppy, ironic reference to her weight. At the same time, George Zimmerman is building support for this. He was accepted by white nationalists and alt rights as a martyr who sacrificed political correct liberals. He did not testify on his own behalf, but the police interview used in the series gave his explanation of the incident. Zimmerman did not participate in the series, he said he was ambushed by Trayvon Martin.

(SOUNDBITE of the file, “REST IN POWER”)

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: He said, what is your problem [curse], how? I said, hey, man, I have no problem. He said, no, now you have a problem. He punched me on my nose.

Bates: Later police shots showed Zimmerman’s nose and head bandage as he showed the police where the battle took place. Directors Nason and Furst made Florida a “stick to one’s own” rule, the ability to shoot and kill in self-defense, which is a protagonist in this series. They say the National Rifle Association has successfully used whites’ anxiety about perceived black violence to grow and maintain its membership for many years. Here, they showed NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre mocking the media at a conference.

(SOUNDBITE of the file, “REST IN POWER”)

WAYNE LAPIERRE: Come on, write down our paranoia. But there is no greater freedom to protect the rights of our family than with all the rifles we want, shotguns and pistols.

Bates: George Zimmerman’s lawyer did not specifically mention “holding the position”, but Jenner Foster said that this does not mean that it is not there.

FURST: There is a common misconception that “persistence” does not involve the case. And I think this is a very dangerous thing.

Bates: In fact, although the defense did not rely on “persistence”, it has been included in the judge’s final instructions to the jury. Most people remember how this ended. George Zimmerman was acquitted. The six-member jury said the state did not fully prove its second-degree murder. Despite her disappointment, Sybrina Fulton told me that she was happy to see the diversity of people who protested the death of his son and demanded justice for him.

Fulton: We didn’t get into this situation with African Americans. We won’t just get rid of this situation with African Americans. I think that all races think that this is not necessarily civil rights, but human rights.

Bates: One of her children’s favorite clothes is important, they have not guessed. In front of the camera, Angela Davis explained.

(SOUNDBITE of the file, “REST IN POWER”)

ANGELA DAVIS: Trayvon’s hoodie becomes a symbol that helps create a sense of community and community struggle.

Bates: The hoodie is worn by street protesters, legislators at the US Congress, and professional athletes such as LeBron James. It is a silent indicator of common support. Tracy Martin said that his son’s death became a gathering point, just like the murder of another black boy in 1955.

T. MARTIN: Back in the Emmett Till era, this is our call to action. Therefore, in 2012, Trayvon Benjamin Martin became our call to action.

Bates: The 14-year-old Emmet Till’s kidnapping, torture and ultimate murder in Miss Qian is a catalyst for the modern civil rights movement. Sybrina Fulton said that the growth of Black Lives Matter after Trayvon’s death was often offset by the resistance of all life. Why only black people live? She has responded.

Fulton: This does not deprive anyone of their lives. It only emphasizes black life, because black life seems to be so one-off.

Bates: Tracy Martin said that when Traveen died for the first time, he and Sibrina thought their case was isolated. But as time went by and many other black men were killed – Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Phialoo Castile, Alton Sterling, etc. – he knew there was a connection. He and Sybrina have established a foundation in the name of Trayvon to provide emotional and financial support to families who have lost their children. Tracy Martin.

T. MARTIN: Although we know that we can’t save our son, we want to save someone else’s son or daughter.

Bates: “The Power of Rest: The Story of Trayvon Martin” broadcast six episodes on the Paramount network tonight. Karen Grigsby Bates, NPR News.

(DISTANT.LO’s SOUDNBITE is “too much”)

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