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Conflict & Tragedy

Painting a more accurate portrait: Who was Trayvon? (Video)

I know Trayvon did not want to become famous this way but alas his name is on everyone's lips, his young life abruptly and violently cut short before he could begin to live. He was only 17. Incidentally, that is the same age as my son, which left me quivering and wondering: could this have been my child, yours?

Just who was Trayvon Martin? The mainstream media, fringe bloggers and everyone else in-between, have given conflicting glimpses into his life, some muddying the waters with early distortions and now a new spin has taken over. At first they plastered wall to wall photos of a younger Trayvon, with his killer George Zimmerman in mug shots looking menacing.

I think this spin has hurt the case for they were trying to use images to influence or spur public opinions and outrage. Now they have done a complete 360--showing a smiling, professionally dressed Zimmerman and an older Trayvon.

They spun when they didn't have to. Whether Trayvon was 6 feet or 3 shouldn't matter. This is about the law and whether one man killed an unarmed child out of bias, racial profiling or self-defense. What the victim did in his life shouldn't matter. What happened on that fateful night is what we should be looking at.

Trayvon was an ordinary teen. They sometimes get into trouble. Tales of his graffiti work, his school suspension, his weed residue in bag are all being played up now. What is the relevance? Even if he was a troubled kid, a runaway, a weed smoking drop-out or in a gang doesn't matter--if he was simply walking home that night, he should not be shot down like hunting game. Afterall, we are a country of laws, aren't we?

Trayvon went to school, played football, worked in the concession stand at school. He wanted to be a pilot. His youth coach and family friend Jerome Horton remembered bantering with Trayvon soon after his parents had enrolled him in a Summer program at Experienced Aviation school in 2009. Horton told CNN that he asked him why he wanted to be a pilot, telling him jokingly, "No Black people want to do those things," to which Trayvon replied, "well, I will be the first one."

Horton said in 2010, Trayvon decided he didn't want to play football anymore but wanted to be a pilot. He went back to the Aviation Summer program that year.

Trayvon's closet friend Darrell Green aka DJ said he wasn't surprised by his decision to stop playing football for he said that flying planes was a dream of Trayvon's.

He had dreams. He had passions. Played football since the age of 5-years-old but gave it up to pursue another. Had a girlfriend named DeeDee who was on the phone with him minutes before he was fatally shot on the night of Feb. 26.

He was visiting his father in Sanford that tragic night but lived with his mom and the rest of his family in Miami. Both parents shared custody since their divorce and actively participated in their son's life. He attended Dr. Michael M. Krop Sr. High School and like many teens, had some troubles, which in no way makes him a criminal. That's the modus operandi of numerous teens across America. In fact, how many of us acted up during our teen years?

According to the Miami Herald, he was suspended from school 3 times: once for graffitti, another for truancy and the most recent--school officials allegedly found and empty bag with traces of marijuana in it.

Trayvon was staying with his Dad during his school suspension when he had the deadly run-in with Zimmerman. His mom Sybrina wanted him with his dad so he could stay out of trouble. Dad Tracy Martin was out with his fiance that night and reportedly left his son home so he could watch the NBA All-Star game on television.

Family friend Horton told CNN that the only way Trayvon got to go to the store that night of Feb. 26 was because he begged his dad to let him go buy a few snacks. A trip to the nearby 7-Eleven for some Skittles and an Arizona iced tea turned into a nightmare that ended with Trayvon dead face down in the grass, a bullet hole in is chest.

According to the family lawyer, the teenager was on the phone with his 16-year-old girlfriend at 7:12 p.m. and was dead 4 minutes later. Police did not contact his father about his son being killed that night.

According to Horton, when the father returned that night and didn't see his son at home, he assumed he was out with his 20-year-old cousin but when he did not show up, father Tracey called his cellphone and got voicemail. He then called the police non-emergency number for the Sheriff's office.

Tracy Martin learned of his son's death when the police showed up at his front door the next day. The shock and pain must have been seismic.

Another young life extinguished too soon, with no clear path to justice and truth any closer now a month and 5 days later.

Trayvon Martin 1995-2012: Rest in Peace

For more on the Trayvon tragedy and travesty click links below and the attached video:

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11828941-in-defense-of-trayvon-how-does-florida-decide-whos-standing-their-ground-when-therere-no-witnesses-around

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http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11827359-eyewitness-in-trayvon-martins-killing-speaks-video

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http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11814604-new-bombshell-police-video-shows-trayvons-killer-zimmerman-liedwatch-his-head-and-face-closely

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http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11809772-police-wanted-to-charge-zimmerman-with-manslaughter-but-da-said-no

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http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11787124-when-black-means-bad-and-white-means-good-the-issue-of-color-and-our-psyche

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http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11793147-jeb-bush-father-of-stand-your-ground-law-says-it-does-not-apply-in-trayvons-case

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http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11802768-the-spin-beginstrayvon-is-now-a-hulking-marijuana-smoking-troubled-graffiti-smearing-brute

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http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11759973-speaking-for-our-sontrayvon-martin-a-national-community-fights-for-justice

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http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11774829-trayvon-tragedy-updatepolice-chief-temporarily-steps-down-prosecutor-recuses-himself

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http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11782643-black-and-latino-parents-dont-let-your-children-wear-hoodies-like-trayvon-they-can-be-killed-as-hunting-game

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