- (Photo: Twitter/SkeeDollasNickuhs)
A police car was shot Tuesday in the same Sanford, Fla., neighborhood where 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in February.
The Sanford police car was found with bullet holes in it and was parked near the scene of Martin's death, which is also in close proximity to Bentley Elementary School, according to Orlando television news station WKMG.
Witnesses reportedly heard six gunshots Tuesday morning, which resulted in the windows of the police cruiser being knocked out. Although authorities said that no one was inside the car at the time of the shooting, at least two of the six bullets heard by witnesses hit the car.
The police car was parked near the Florida elementary school because school officials requested the additional safety precaution after weeks of strained racial tensions stemming from Martin's fatal shooting that took place in the neighborhood last February.
Although Zimmerman, 28, killed the unarmed Martin in what he told police was self-defense on Feb. 26, he has not been charged with any offense to date due to the state's "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows for use of deadly force in self-defense. Martin's family and many people in the black community have signed a petition calling for a further investigation by authorities for what they believe is a hate crime.
While supporters have signed a petition on www.change.org calling for the prosecution of Zimmerman, protests have also taken place across the country in which people have worn hoodies and marched while asking for justice for the slain teen. However, the shooting of the police car follows the announcement that Angela Corey, the prosecutor in the Martin case, said she will not convene a grand jury in the case, which rules out a first degree murder charge for Zimmerman.
Commander Jeff Schoep of the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group, said he is prepared for violent backlash from Martin supporters.
"We are not advocating any type of violence or attacks on anybody, but we are prepared for it," Shoep said in a Miami New Times report. "We are not the type of white people who are going to be walked all over."
Schoep told the Miami New Times that his group is a counterbalance to groups like the New Black Panther Party, a fringe group.
Mikhail Muhammad, head of the New Black Panther Party, has called for the capture of Zimmerman, reportedly dead or alive, with $10,000 as a reward. During a Florida protest calling for Zimmerman's arrest, Muhammad demanded "an eye for an eye."
People have taken to Twitter to call for an end to the violence and racial tensions.
"I know people are upset about the decision to not go to grand jury in the Trayvon Martin case but violence won't help anything," one person tweeted.