|A memorial to Trayvon Martin, 17, is attached to a |
street sign outside the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford.
Right away, he started calling the police. The 911 operators translated his complaints into the bloodless shorthand of law enforcement.
Aug. 26, 2009: "Male driving with no headlights on."
Sept. 22, 2009: "Yellow speed bike doing wheelies."
Oct. 23, 2009: "Aggressive white and brown pit bull."
The transcripts of Zimmerman's 911 calls during the more than two years he lived on Retreat View Circle fill 28 pages. His concerns include everything from the driver of a pickup cutting off people to a neighbor leaving his garage door open.
He kept a close watch for outsiders, but it couldn't have been easy to tell who belonged and who didn't. When the housing market crashed, many townhomes were foreclosed on and the owners evicted. Dozens of investors, unable to unload the two- and three-bedroom properties, rented them to cover their upside-down mortgages.
The developers had envisioned a stable neighborhood with homeowners planting long-term roots, but now townhouses were turning over all the time. Insiders moved out. Outsiders moved in.
By the time Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, 40 properties inside the gate were empty and more than half of the residents were renters.
Including Brandy Green, who was dating Martin's dad. And Zimmerman himself.
Trayvon Martin lived with his dad, who resides in the Miami area, and had visited his dad's girlfriend at the Retreat several times before. The kids in the neighborhood always looked forward to playing football with him. But to George Zimmerman, he was a stranger. READ MORE