The tragic shooting death of Trayvon Martin has captivated the nation – and on Monday, the topic of marijuana made the story even more incendiary. On February 26, Martin, a 17-year-old African-American, was shot to death by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old white and Hispanic man. Martin was returning to his father’s fiancée’s home in Sanford, Florida after a trip to a local convenience store when the highly disputed incident occurred.
The pot-related revelation came to light when it was reported that Martin was serving a suspension from high school for marijuana when he was shot and killed by Zimmerman. Martin was suspended after traces of the drug were discovered in a baggie in his book bag.
Zimmerman’s own past transgressions, which include being charged with resisting arrest and violence/battery on a police officer, and having a restraining order filed against him following a domestic violence accusation from his ex-fiancée, have – for whatever reason – failed to grab media attention in the same way that Martin’s marijuana suspension has.
Sybrina Fulton, the distraught mother of the murdered Martin, castigated Sanford Police for leaking the news about Martin’s pot suspension in order to slant the story against her slain son. The Sanford P.D. has acknowledged there may have been a leak of the pot info – a rather strong admission rarely heard by a law enforcement agency. Authorities said the leak would be investigated.
Benjamin Crump, attorney for the deceased Martin’s surviving relatives, was the voice of rationality in telling the press: “If he (Trayvon) and his friends experimented with marijuana, that is completely irrelevant … What does it have to do with killing their son?”
Crump went on to expound on the fact that Martin being associated with cannabis should have absolutely no influence on the ongoing investigation into his death by state and federal authorities.