The portrayal of Trayvon Martin as an out of control thug doesn’t square with the youthful looking teenager who was loving and well-loved and who put his family first, according to the parents of the slain teenager.
“Where they’re getting it from, I really don’t know,” Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, told the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) at the formal opening of its convention in New Orleans on Thursday. Martin was referring to reports that his son was a fan of mixed martial arts, suggesting Trayvon Martin had an aggressive, killer instinct.
“Trayvon has never so much as taken a karate class, much less mixed martial arts,” Tracy Martin said.
Martin, Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, and their lawyers appeared at the conference to discuss the impact coverage of the case has had on them and some of the misconceptions and inaccuracies reported.
Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot Feb. 26 by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who was patrolling the gated community in Sanford, Florida, where Martin was visiting with his father. Zimmerman, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the case, has said he shot Martin in self-defense during a confrontation.
Tracy Martin said some of his son’s youthful indiscretions – reports of marijuana use, a run-in with law enforcement, boasts about being a tough guy and the latest reports about his involvement in martial arts – have all been used to portray his son as a sinister character who was a danger to the community, generally, and Zimmerman particularly.
Martin also said the reports suggest that he and Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, had somehow failed as parents.
“Where is it that it can be said that we can’t be loving parents?” Martin asked. “Even though we are divorced…we remained good friends because we want to raise our kids to be good upstanding kids.”
“People need to keep in mind families never plan to be victims,” the Rev. Al Sharpton, who helped draw national attention to the case, said in an interview on stage before the family spoke.
“They are a mother, father, brother who are in pain and I think we sometimes ask more of them than is necessary.”
Fulton denied that she used old photos of Trayvon to make him appear younger and more innocent. In fact, one of the family’s lawyers said, the picture of Martin on horseback was taken just eight days before the teenager was shot. The family, Fulton said, was not trying to slant coverage.
“I’m just an ordinary person,” Fulton said, tearing up as she tried to describe her son and the family’s efforts to see the case adjudicated in court.
Fulton said she and Martin have created JusticeTM.org to urge Florida’s governor and a task force looking into the slaying to “make amends if necessary” to the Stand Your Ground law, which allows people who feel their lives are threatened in a confrontation, to use lethal force if necessary to protect themselves.
Zimmerman’s lawyers released video and audiotapes Thursday in which Zimmerman reenacted for police what he said happened when he shot Trayvon Martin to death.
On Monday, prosecutors released recordings of jailhouse calls between George Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, in which the couple discussed their finances. Shellie Zimmerman was arrested and released last week on $1,000 bond on charges that she lied about the family’s financial situation at a bond hearing in April.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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