Some cases being compared to Trayvon Martin
Since the Trayvon Martin shooting, celebrities, civil rights activists and families have been using the case to push for the resolution of what they say is a string of other injustices and incomplete investigations involving minorities. While the circumstances of each are different, Martin's name has been used to try to bring more attention to each case.
Here are a few of them:
— In Atlanta, 17-year-old Canard Arnold, who was black, was fatally shot in the back by a white security guard who police say was caught in a gunfight between the teenager and another person at an apartment complex neighboring the one he was looking after. Authorities and the guard, Christopher Hambrick, said the Dec. 30 shooting was justified.
Arnold's family said Tuesday that he was running away after an altercation with another man when he was shot, and that the teen did not confront or threaten the security guard. Arnold family Christopher Chestnut said the case was "very Trayvon Martin-like" and referred to Hambrick, as "a rogue, vigilante security guard."
That language is similar to what many have called neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who said he shot Martin in self-defense. Zimmerman has not been charged.
Hambrick emphatically dismissed any parallels.
"Canard Arnold was not Trayvon Martin. ... I'm not like Zimmerman. I know when to use my gun."
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said Hambrick fired because he believed he was being shot at. He also said that Arnold died with a weapon just inches away from his hand, indicating that it was likely he had been armed.
"At this time, it appears to us the actions of the security guard were justified," Howard said. "If subsequent evidence reveals intentions to the contrary ... the district attorney's office will be led by the facts."
— In New York City, an unarmed teenager was fatally shot by police during a drug investigation. Police said they chased 18-year-old Ramarley Graham from the street into his second-floor home and an officer shot him in the bathroom, mistakenly believing the teen had a gun, as his grandmother and 6-year-old brother stood nearby. A bag of marijuana was found in the toilet, suggesting Graham was trying to flush it away before the gunfire erupted. No weapon was found.
The three officers involved have been stripped of their guns and badges and placed on desk duty while the district attorney investigates. A grand jury will decide whether to charge the officers.
"The demonization of young, black men of color must stop," City Council member Letitia James said.
— In White Plains, N.Y., an online petition is seeking further investigation into the case of Kenneth Chamberlain, a 68-year-old black Marine veteran fatally shot in November by police officers. The man's son said officers responding to a false alarm on Chamberlain's medic alert bracelet used a racial slur before breaking into the apartment and shooting him.
The police commissioner said Chamberlain was emotionally disturbed and came at officers with a knife, withstood a stun gun and bean bags fired at him and had to be shot. The Chamberlain family's attorney said they have been promised a full investigation.
"Certainly given the explosion of attention on Trayvon, there's been an increased interest in this case," attorney Randolph McLaughlin said. "But I have to say the Kenneth Chamberlain case is unique."
Associated Press writers Colleen Long in New York; Jim Fitzgerald in White Plains, N.Y., and Errin Haines in Atlanta contributed to this report.