Monday, August 8, 2016

Police disarm man on I-75 with gun to his head, says he wanted to call attention to Trayvon Martin

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 10:00 AM

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Law enforcement on Saturday disarmed a man walking southbound on I-75 with a pistol to his head because he was upset about the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, state police said. 

As police approached the scene around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, a dispatcher initially told state troopers that a man was "waving the gun around and firing shots" while walking southbound along the northbound lanes of the freeway, over the Rouge River Bridge, according to a statement from Michigan State Police.



When troopers arrived, the statement said, they were able to make contact with the man and convince him to surrender. He was taken into custody without incident.

Police say the man explained he was upset about the verdict for George Zimmerman, a neighborhod watch volunteer who, following an altercation, shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida on February 26, 2012. A jury found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder the following year, and the case marked the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

"[The male] thought walking with a gun to his head was the only way he could get attention in order to talk to the media," state police said about the Saturday incident. "He did not want to hurt anyone, but wanted to bring attention to himself to talk about the George Zimmerman case with a news reporter."

The man told police he harbored the sentiment for a "long time," the police statement continued, "and that he has been unable to sleep beacuse of it. He simply decided to act today." 

Police recovered an unloaded .38-caliber pistol, which will be destroyed, the statement said. The man was then transported to a local hospital for medical attention. 

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