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In the weeks before his death Trayvon Martin had gotten into trouble for drug possession. According to his family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump, the 17-year-old was suspended for 10 days from his Miami high school for having a small bag of greenery in his backpack. Though it wasn’t enough to get him arrested, the teen was sent to visit his father in Sanford, FL, where he was killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

The boy’s parents were concerned by the incident involving the illegal substance, but said that it played no part in the actions that led to his death. “We maintain that regardless of the specific reason for the suspension, it’s got nothing to do with the events that unfolded on Feb. 26,” said family spokesperson, Ryan Julison.

Martin was gunned down in the gated community where his father lived while on his way back from the store. He was wearing a hoodie and carrying Skittles and ice tea, when he was misidentified by Zimmerman as a trespasser. The 28-year-old has also said that Martin attacked him, forcing him to shoot the unarmed teen.

Since the killing, Zimmerman has gone into hiding, but his attorney, Craig Sooner, maintains that his client is not racist. “It’s not a racial issue. George Zimmerman is absolutely not a racist,” he said.

This new development will likely do little to skew the public’s support for bringing Zimmerman to justice, and helping the Martin family find peace. Everyone from NBA players, to rappers, to the President, have all spoken out against the shooting. And just in case Fox News is keeping score, Martin had no juvenile criminal record.

 

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Photo: Trayvon Martin

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