This story is developing so quickly right now, and we just thought we'd keep you in the loop of what we're hearing. If any of it is old news, all apologies. Little old Sanford has become a giant national sandstorm at this point, and – we're not predicting this with any glee, mind – it's probably only going to get worse. First, a message from District 4 Commissioner Patty Mahany datelined yesterday:
Commissioner Patty Mahany
As City Commissioner of District Four in Sanford, I have until now, withheld comment on the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. I have done so because, as an elected official, I believe it would not have been appropriate for me to comment on an open police investigation. I do hope my decision to remain silent until the investigation was completed is not perceived as a lack of caring, as nothing could be further from the truth.
I would like to express my most heartfelt sympathy to Trayvon's family and friends. Their profound sadness and grief is unimaginable. I am truly sorry for the loss of their precious son. This horrific incident took place not far from my home. Little time goes by in the day that I don't think back to that night and the senseless loss of such a bright and special young man with big dreams and a promising future. His loss is a loss to our world. His family misses him terribly and their lives are forever altered. There are no words to express the magnitude of this tragedy.
The case is now in the hands of the State Attorney and I, along with our entire community, await his decision. Although I am truly devastated and saddened by this tragedy, in the interest justice I will not rush to judgment.
I ask that we all pray for justice for Trayvon, and strength for his family to endure the burden of their grief. I also ask you to join me in prayers for courage and wisdom for our community leaders, elected and non-elected, of all races, for fairness in justice, patience for all of us and Peace in our great City.
Commissioner, District Four
Anyway, there are of course further developments happening, some that don't quite include the hand-wringing of a sitting commissioner beneath a rather powerful global looking glass. For one, there's this: In addition to Thursday night's planned rally with the Rev. Al Sharpton (March 22nd, 2012 - 7:00 PM Rev. Al Sharpton & NAN to Hold A Support Rally to Call for Justice in the Trayvon Martin Case, First Shiloh Baptist Church, 700 S Elm Ave, Sanford, FL 32771), there's a surprise rally tonight, too, according to the Facebook of State Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando.
ATTENTION CENTRAL FLORIDA: NAACP calls for Town Hall Meeting in The Shooting Death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin TONIGHT @ 7PM at the Allen Chapel AME Church. The church is located at 1203 Olive Ave in Sanford.
Seminole County Branch President, Turner Clayton Jr, stated that “It is time for the Police Department to give an account of its action in this case because we do not agree with this so called self-defense finding.”
The Mayor, City Manager and Chief of Police have all agreed to attend this meeting. The NAACP does not condone the actions of the Sanford Police Department and feel that George Zimmerman should have been arrested based on the evidence of this case. Please come & show your support!!!!
Also, the Central Florida Urban League just announced another rally at Sanford City Hall:
And then! Then!!! There's this evidence being paraded around on YouTube wherein the alleged (OK, more than that) assailant George Zimmerman may or may not have uttered a racial epithet around the 2:21 mark during this 911 call.
Where it all goes from here, we can't be sure, but it's doubtful that cooler heads will prevail. Cruise any FOX News/Freeper site and you're bound to find a white population in very public recoil, but we'll leave that mess for you to find. But let's not underestimate the racial tensions that this is stirring up in a state that's usually afraid to call itself part of Dixie. Sure sounds like we're whistling it now, not unlike we were nearly a century ago in Rosewood. We all know how that turned out.
Stay safe, people.