Above is the iconic picture we’ve been become accustomed to seeing everywhere in the media, used to represent the recent Trayvon Martin shooting in Sanford, Florida. From everything the public has been told, Trayvon Martin was a fresh-faced, innocent looking teenager and the visage of the man who shot him, George Zimmerman, is right out of a booking photo.
The media narrative being sold is quite clear, Trayvon Martin is the innocent victim here and George Zimmerman is a horrible bigot who attacked the young man for doing nothing more than buying skittles while being black. Even Barack Obama seems to accept the fresh-faced innocence of Trayvon, stating, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.” More on that later.
It’s becoming more and more clear however that the innocent appearance the mainstream media is so desperate to apply to Trayvon isn’t at all accurate. The picture we’re used to seeing to represent Trayvon Martin appears to be a far cry from how he actually looked once he was a few years older.
Extended School Suspension
There has been a lot of analysis about the character of George Zimmerman in the media, and surprisingly little about Trayvon Martin.
For instance, a few days before he was killed, Trayvon was suspended from school for ten days.
Still, Trayvon had nonviolent behavioral issues in school, and on the day he was killed, he had been suspended for 10 days from Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in North Miami-Dade. “He was not suspended for something dealing with violence or anything like that. It wasn’t a crime he committed, but he was in an unauthorized area [on school property],” Martin said, declining to offer more details. Before that, Trayvon attended Miami Carol City High School near his mother’s home in Miami Gardens.
There has been very little follow-up in investigating exactly why Trayvon was suspended for such a long period of time for what seems to be the relatively minor offense of “being in an unauthorized area.” In most schools, something like that would be a detention, or one-day, in school suspension at most. Not ten days.
Of course, this is why Trayvon was staying as his Father’s house, so far away from school. And it also explains why George Zimmerman, who by all accounts seemed to stay on top of everything that happened in his neighborhood, didn’t recognize him that evening, Trayvon didn’t really live there, and was only in town because of the suspension.
It seems we may not find out more anytime soon, as a lawyer representing Trayvon’s family has sealed his school records.
To learn more about Trayvon’s character, we have to look to his friends and family to offer clues. Unfortunately, it seems as if most people who knew him are intent on cleaning up his image, rather than discussing what Trayvon was really like.
Even though Trayvon was only 17, he already was sporting gold teeth, and several large tattoos. This one was on his wrist, apparently of his
girlfriend’s mother’s name.
This photo, taken from Tray’s MySpace page, shows another large tattoo that took up most of his upper arm.
It seems that Tray was also on Twitter, but his account seems to have been recently deleted by his family or friends.
At first, I was skeptical that anyone would maintain an account with that sort of derogatory slur in the title, but after doing some research, it’s apparent that it was Trayvon’s account.
The account was in existence long before the shooting occurred a few weeks ago, and was deleted only recently, there are still dozens of references to @NO_LIMIT_NIGGA ingoogle’s cache.
The associated twitpic account matches the account name and is still online at the time of publication. Most of the pics were uploaded months ago, so this account was associated with Trayvon long before the shooting took place.
Several of Tray’s friends have been very open about referring to Trayvon using that account as well. His cousin, who is quite active on Twitter, refers to Trayvon more than a dozen times using the @NO_LIMIT_NIGGA nickname.
Violence & Gang Activity
There seem to be several allusions to violence on Tray’s Twitter account.
His friends posted supportive messages using it as well, about how happy they were that Trayvon whooped Zimmerman’s ass before he died.
@NO_LIMIT_NIGGA IMA MISS YU TILL I DIE DOG I KNOW YU WHOOPED HIS ASS DOE.. CUZ I PRAY GOD HELP ME AND WATCH YU LOVE YOU CUZZ REST ETERNALLY.
Another post makes reference to Trayvon having “swung on a bus driver” a few days before he died.
Did that have something to do with his ten-day suspension?
On Trayvon’s MySpace page, at least one of his top friends, Romario305, is featured making a gang sign towards the camera in his default profile picture.
Instead of that, we are seeing long suspensions from school, tattoos, racially-charged epitaphs, and violence.
Several of his friends have posted pictures of rolled blunts to twitter in memorial to Trayvon.
There is also fairly direct evidence that Trayvon may have been a small-time drug-dealer.
On Facebook on February 5th, his friend posts on his wall asking to talk business. Trayvon says he doesn’t have a phone available and his friend says, “Damn were u at a nigga needa plant.”
That Facebook url should still work, if anyone is intrepid enough to check it out.
Unless Trayvon was selling Orchids, it seems fairly reasonable to posit that he may have been somewhat well-known among his friends for selling marijuana.
Hopefully this info paints a somewhat different picture of Trayvon than the one the media has been forcing down our throats for the last several weeks.
This is a complex case, and while all the facts are not in yet, we do know that Zimmerman was well within his rights to make verbal contact with someone he didn’t know or recognize in his neighborhood.
In fact, that’s exactly what Neighborhood Watch groups are for, to be the “eyes and ears” of the community. It appears that Zimmerman was very good at this job.
No matter how offended someone might be to have a stranger come up and ask what they are doing there, it doesn’t give anyone a license to commit assault.
From what I can tell, Zimmerman was doing a routine neighborhood watch, called in someone he considered suspicious, and was maintaining a visual on him until the police came.
Then he was attacked, had his nose broken and was in a prone position while crying out for help.
Zimmerman was pinned to the ground, according to a witness, and was still being beaten by someone much younger than him.
Many people are reading a lot into the weight difference between Martin and Zimmerman, but Zimmerman was also 5’9 and out of shape. I’m pretty sure many tubby thirty-year-olds wouldn’t do well against a fit, 6’3, 17-year-old.
This is a textbook self-defense case, and I’d urge anyone reading to look at the full set of facts before drawing conclusions.