Further complications have emerged in the story of the mysterious death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Specifically, previous information about Trayvon Martin’s suspension – which was allegedly for “tardiness” – has now been reported to be incomplete by the Miami Herald.
Moreover, following a week of coverage suggesting the teen was spitefully attacked in cold blood, more details are now emerging as a statement by the shooter, George Zimmerman, suggests there may have been more of a confrontation than was believed at first.
First, Martin’s school suspension record. According to an investigation by the Miami Herald, Martin was suspended twice – once in October of last year for graffiti, and prior to the shooting for possession of a bag with traces of marijuana and a “marijuana pipe.” Martin was also found in possession of some jewelry and what the Herald describes as a “burglary tool,” though these items were not convincingly established as being owned by Martin himself, following an independent investigation by police.
Both offenses, which would fall under the umbrellas of “vandalism” and “possession or use of alcohol and/or controlled substances,” would be sufficient to merit ten day suspensions under district policy. Martin was apparently also suspended at an indeterminate time in the past for tardiness and/or truancy, though the Herald does not specify for how long.
Martin’s family and family attorney have dismissed the charges as attempts at “demonizing” him. As contrary evidence, they cite a previous school’s wish for Martin to remain there because he was a good student.
Second, after being universally blasted for his actions, George Zimmerman’s written statement to the police raises further doubts about what happened on the night in question. “Good Morning America” reports on Zimmerman’s explanation:
George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch crime captain who shot dead 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, originally told police in a written statement that Martin knocked him down with a punch to the nose, repeatedly slammed his head on the ground and tried to take his gun, a police source told ABC News.
Zimmerman had claimed he had called police about Martin, whom he found suspicious, then went back to his car when Martin attacked him, punching him.[…]
In addition, an eyewitness, 13-year-old Austin Brown, told police he saw a man fitting Zimmerman’s description lying on the grass moaning and crying for help just seconds before he heard the gunshot that killed Martin.
Zimmerman was treated for a head wound after the incident. How he received it has not been decisively established. Police have also told the media that while their investigation of the shooting may be completed in a few days, there will likely be no charges for weeks, if they come at all.