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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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