The Dilemma Of The Sanford, FL Police Department
Following the recent death of Trayvon Martin, another similar case has come to light which has caused unrest amongst local communities and heaped pressure on the police department of Sanford, Florida.
In 2010, a masked gunman killed a 17 year old boy in the north side of the city in an apartment complex. When police found the boy, another boy was sitting next to the body. The police charged that teen with robbery and murder. Both boys were black.
The mother of the murdered 17 year old is appalled that important evidence was overlooked, including an eye witness stating that another person was responsible for the shooting. The boy found with the body was soon released, but no other arrest has been made in the case.
The mother, Ruffin, states that the police didn’t do their job. Her concern is understandable, considering the circumstances.
Ruffin says that she can see the similarities in her son’s case and that of Trayvon Martin. Trayvon was an unarmed teen gunned down by a neighbourhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman. No arrest has been made in that case either. There was also no evidence to support that the shooting was necessary. Seems police just took Zimmerman’s word that he acted in self-defence under the Stand Your Ground law.
These two cases together have brought Sanford police’s competence into question, Ruffin says. But these aren’t the only things that are causing alarm. Not only was there no arrest in the Trayvon or Ruffin case, but police officers have been caught accepting bribes, demanding bribes, fabricating evidence and drawing their guns without reason within the past three years. All of this has caused outrage in the local community. The Martin case is now a national concern.
The local NAACP president in Sanford says that the department is notorious for mishandling investigations. They don’t follow leads or tips and don’t follow up with evidence. When a loved one of a victim asks if there has been any progress in their case, they are simply dismissed and not given any further details. The police department makes no headway at all in their cases, the president says.
Sergeant David Morgenstern, a police spokesperson for the Sanford department declined to respond to any of the allegations of their negligence. He says that there is no comment in response to the allegations.
The Sanford police department has made a name for itself nationally, since the Trayvon Martin case. Their alleged negligence is a topic of debate nationwide, with prominent social leaders, politicians and pundits stating that there was a grave injustice done in the Martin case, and that Zimmerman should have at least been arrested.
The investigation is now known as one of the sloppiest in history. The Prosecuting attorney has now confirmed that Zimmerman will not be seen before a Grand Jury, but that it does not mean an arrest will not be made. We have yet to see the arrest, so until then, community unrest is, and will continue to be, rampant.