ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Trayvon Martin case is the topic of conversation just about everywhere 42-year-old Tallahassee lawyer Ben Crump goes.
Crump is the lead attorney for Trayvon's parents. He recently took some time out of his schedule to talk to 10 News while he was visiting Jackson, Mississippi. He says, "It's horrible what George Zimmerman, this armed vigilante, did. It's horrible what he did to racially profile and that kind of thing, but it's tragic what the law enforcement institution did in investigating this matter."
Click here for a timeline of the incident that started during a 911 call George Zimmerman, a Hispanic neighborhood watch captain, made at 7:11 p.m. on Feb. 26th.
By 7:30 p.m. Trayvon Martin was pronounced dead.
Part 1 - Trayvon Martin timeline
Zimmerman told Sanford police that Martin attacked him and bashed his head repeatedly on the pavement before punching him in the face and breaking his nose.
He told the investigators who took him in for questioning he shot Martin in the chest in self defense. They let him go.
Crump says he has problems with how the Sanford Police Department handled the case from the very start. "It's awfully suspicious as to why a narcotics officer would come out to a homicide call. It's almost as if they accepted George Zimmerman's version of what he said on that 911 tape. 'He's up to no good. He's high. he looks suspicious.'"
Sergeant David Morgenstern, a spokesperson for the Sanford Police Department, says, "It is true that a narcotics investigator conducted the initial interview with Zimmerman. The inference in this report somehow indicates that our investigation was substandard by using a narcotics investigator rather than a homicide investigator."
Sgt. Morgenstern adds, "Our on-call major crimes investigator, along with several other investigators, responded to the crime scene to assist. We are confident that our investigative team conducted a quality investigation."
But Crump says, "They ran a background check on Trayvon Martin, who's dead on the ground, and they don't run one on George Zimmerman. They do a drug and alcohol analysis on Trayvon Martin, but they don't order one on George Zimmerman."
He says what's worse is that Trayvon's father, Tracy Martin, wasn't even notified of his son's death that night.
Crump adds, "This is a townhouse community. They didn't knock on any doors to say, 'Hey did this person live here? Are you missing anybody?'"
The next day, a Sanford police officer showed Tracy Martin a photo of his dead son only after Martin called police to file a missing person's report for Trayvon.
Crump says Tracy Martin was given four reasons why Zimmerman wasn't going to be arrested: Zimmerman was squeaky clean, a 4-year student in criminal justice at a local college, he was licensed to carry a firearm, and he was the captain of the neighborhood watch program. Crump says police told Trayvon's father, "It was for those reasons that they just couldn't see how he could be the cause of this."
While Crump says he's humbled to represent the family he says it's a big responsibility. He admits he was hesitant at first to even take the case. "I said give it a day or two because I believed in my heart of hearts they were going to arrest him. I'm not talking about a conviction. I'm talking about an arrest. He'll have his day in court to make his arguments of self defense, of Stand Your Ground, whatever the case may be."
Angela Corey, a special prosecutor out of Jacksonville, has now taken over the investigation. Corey has three options: She could present the case to a grand jury, which would decide whether Zimmerman should face charges; she could charge him without the grand jury's review; or she could decide not to bring the case before the panel and not charge him.
Photo Gallery: Trayvon Martin photos
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