Trayvon Martin’s family lashed out at Florida authorities on Monday, claiming officials are attempting to smear Trayvon in an effort to bolster George Zimmerman’s claim he was acting in self-defense when he shot the unarmed 17-year-old last month.
“Even in death, they are still disrespecting my son, and that is a shame,” Martin’s father, Tracy, flanked by Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, said at a press conference in Sanford, Fla., where 25,000 were expected to attend an afternoon rally to protest the police’s handling of the case.
The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, said Martin’s son had been suspended for 10 days from his high school the day he was shot after traces of marijuana were found in his book bag. Martin’s father had said previously Trayvon was suspended after being found in an unauthorized area at the school.
“If he and his friends experimented with marijuana, that is completely irrelevant to George Zimmerman killing their son on the night of Feb. 26,” Crump said. “Law enforcement is attempting to demonize and blame the victim.”
“They killed my son, and now they are trying to kill his reputation,” Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, said, holding back tears.
Sharpton said he knew police would attempt to characterize Martin as a “junkie” and “demonize the victim.”
“Discuss what Mr. Zimmerman had in his system,” Sharpton said. “Enough of the double standard.”