Black Militia Group Going After Trayvon’s Killer
Controversial group promises citizens arrest of George Zimmerman
The family of an unarmed black teen gunned down in Florida has bemoaned a local police department’s handling of the case, and might soon see the killer arrested.
Members of the New Black Liberation Militia plan a citizen's arrest of 28-year-old George Zimmerman, who had admitted to Sanford police that he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense on February 26.
Authorities questioned and released Zimmerman, drawing the ire of Martin’s family, national watchdog groups, and now the controversial black militia outfit.
A Florida attorney interviewed by the Associated Press on Friday cautioned members of the militia, who planned to detain Zimmerman and deliver him to federal authorities. Because members of the militia are not assumed to have witnessed the alleged crime, they risk charges of false imprisonment, said attorney Patrick Cairns.
Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said the family disagreed with group’s decision to go after Zimmerman.
"They want justice at the hands of authorities and nobody else," Crump said. "Everybody has a right to peacefully assemble but we certainly want to leave any kind of arrests ... to the authorities."
[ALSO READ: Trayvon Martin's 911 Call Tapes]
The NBLM has in the past drawn criticism for advocating racial separatism, but is not listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a predominant civil rights authority. On its website, the NBLM listed its mission as "Developing and Teaching Spiritual, Psychological, Social, Holistic and Scientific Methods and Techniques to ensure the survival of black people in the 21st century and beyond."
Groups like NBLM are often associated with statements from individual members, who have been quoted in the media openly promoting the killing of whites.
Zimmerman, it has been noted, is of mixed Hispanic heritage and was the neighborhood watch captain for the gated community where Martin was killed. Crump has alleged local police officials hid record of Zimmerman's violent past from the teen's family.