Firefighter's Trayvon Martin Facebook Comment Under Investigation

Capt. Brian Beckmann has been with the county since 1997.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    This combo made from file photos shows Trayvon Martin, left, and George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman, 28, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder Wednesday after weeks of mounting tensions and protests across the country. His attorney, Mark O'Mara, said his client would plead not guilty. (AP Photo)

    Miami-Dade Fire Rescue is investigating a comment made by one of its firefighters on his personal Facebook page, authorities said.

    Capt. Brian Beckmann, who has been with the county since 1997, posted a comment about the Trayvon Martin case, The Miami Herald reported. A screenshot of his post was sent to the website thegrio.com.

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    The mother of a Miami boy who was fatally shot in central Florida said Friday she cannot understand why the shooter has not been arrested. "As a mother, my heart is broken," Sybrina Fulton said. Her son Trayvon Martin, 17, a junior at Dr.

    Thegrio.com is owned by NBC Universal.

    Miami-Dade Fire Rescue released a statement saying the post is currently under investigation.

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    The NAACP held a gathering in a Sanford church Wednesday to hear residents talk about Trayvon Martin's shooting and their experiences with Sanford Police. The civil rights group's local leader, Turner Clayton Jr., said the NAACP would turn over the stories of people who accuse the police department of abuse or inadequately investigating cases to the Justice Department, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Hannibal Duncan said he stumbled on Sanford cops beating his best friend. Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett sat quietly in the back scribbling down every detail, and then came up front when he was invited to speak.

    "The post on his personal Facebook page is being investigated by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. The department's only official Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/miamidadefirerescue."

     “I am a private citizen and have the same right to freely express an opinion on any subject that anyone else does. I choose not to embellish or alter the facts as your employer chose to do,” Beckmann said to the website in a Facebook message, the Herald reported.

    After Zimmerman Arrest, Sigh of Relief in Sanford

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    The headline "Zimmerman Arrested" was splashed across every local paper in Sanford on Thursday, the day after special prosecutor Angela Corey announced the second-degree murder charge against George Zimmerman, who was taken into custody after weeks in hiding. Some in Sanford are breathing a sigh of relief. An arrest means a trial ?- and, Trayvon Martin supporters say, a chance to see the justice they've been demanding for over a month. "Tears came to my eyes. It just makes me happy because I know the family members. Right now I'm a little speechless," said Katherine Johnson, who attended high school with Martin's mother.

    The Herald reported that when reached by a reporter on Sunday, Beckmann said it was under investigation, and that he couldn't talk to the reporter.

    George Zimmerman turned himself in and was booked into the Seminole County jail Wednesday night, after State Attorney Angela Corey announced he faces a second-degree murder charge at a news conference in Jacksonville.

    Zimmerman Arraignment Set For May 29

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    George Zimmerman, who faces a second-degree murder charge in the fatal shooting of Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin, appeared in court on Thursday and had his formal arraignment set for May 29. Wearing handcuffs and a dark grey jumpsuit, Zimmerman appeared in a Seminole County courtroom for the brief hearing before Judge Mark E. Herr, who was not in the courtroom but spoke through a closed-circuit TV connection. Herr said he found probable cause to proceed with the case against Zimmerman and set the date for arraignment for May 29 at 1:30 p.m. before another judge. Throughout the four-minute hearing, Zimmerman stood up, looked straight ahead and said only "Yes, sir," twice when asked questions about the charge against him and about his attorney Mark O'Mara. Zimmerman has told police that he shot Martin, 17, of Miami Gardens in self-defense. O'Mara said, while speaking to media after the proceeding, that a not guilty plea was entered.

    Prosecutors say he fatally shot Martin in the chest during a confrontation on Feb. 26 in a community of townhomes in Sanford, a suburb of Orlando.

    Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense and has pleaded not guilty.

    The lack of an arrest for more than 40 days after the shooting led to protests nationwide.