Po­lice re­port: Trayvon jumped watch shooter On sus­pen­sion from school

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation -

SAN­FORD, FLA. | Trayvon Martin had been sus­pended from school for hav­ing mar­i­juana when the un­armed teenager was fa­tally shot by a neigh­bor­hood watch vol­un­teer, a fam­ily spokesman said Mon­day.

Trayvon, 17, was sus­pended by Mi­ami-dade County schools be­cause traces of mar­i­juana were found in a plas­tic bag­gie in his book bag, fam­ily spokesman Ryan Juli­son said. Florida me­dia also re­ported Mon­day that a mar­i­juana pipe was found in the bag.

Trayvon was shot Feb. 26 by Ge­orge Zim­mer­man while he was vis­it­ing San­ford with his fa­ther.

Also Mon­day, the Or­lando Sen­tinel re­ported that it was ac­tu­ally Trayvon who at­tacked Mr. Zim­mer­man on the fa­tal night, as the gun­man, who has be­come the ob­ject of na­tional outrage, be­gan to get out his side of the story.

“Ge­orge Zim­mer­man suf­fered a bro­ken nose, and had an in­jury to the back of his head; he was at­tacked by Trayvon Martin on that evening,” Craig Son­ner, Mr. Zim­mer­man’s at­tor­ney, told ABC News. “This was a case of self-de­fense.”

State and fed­eral agen­cies are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the shoot­ing, with a grand jury set to con­vene April 10. Be­cause Trayvon was black and Mr. Zim­mer­man, 28, is not (his fa­ther is white, his mother His­panic), the case has be­come a racial flash point that has led to a se­ries of protests in San­ford and around the coun­try, in­clud­ing com­ment from Pres­i­dent Obama and bounty calls from the Black Pan­thers.

But ac­cord­ing to po­lice re­ports cited in the Sen­tinel, Mr. Zim­mer­man was walk­ing back to his ve­hi­cle af­ter hav­ing lost Trayvon when the youth ap­proached him from be­hind. The two ex­changed words, Mr. Zim­mer­man said, and Trayvon then punched him in the nose, jumped on top of him and be­gan bang­ing his head on a side­walk. Mr. Zim­mer­man said he be­gan cry­ing for help and then shot Trayvon in the chest.

“One wit­ness, who has since talked to lo­cal tele­vi­sion news re­porters, told po­lice he saw Zim­mer­man on the ground with Trayvon on top, pound­ing him — and was un­equiv­o­cal that it was Zim­mer­man who was cry­ing for help,” the Sen­tinel re­ported.

The San­ford po­lice said the news­pa­per story was “con­sis­tent” with ev­i­dence turned over to prose­cu­tors. Po­lice ar­rived just two min­utes af­ter the shoot­ing and quickly de­ter­mined that Mr. Zim­mer­man was bleed­ing from the nose, had a swollen lip and had bloody lac­er­a­tions to the back of his head.

The picture of Trayvon pro­moted by the fam­ily as the an­gelic vic­tim of a racist vig­i­lante took an­other hit Mon­day when the Mi­ami Her­ald re­ported he also had been sus­pended pre­vi­ously from Mi­ami-dade schools for a graf­fiti of­fense.

When of­fi­cials searched his bag, 12 pieces of women’s jew­elry and a flat­head screw­driver de­scribed in a school re­port as a “bur­glary tool” were found in­side. Trayvon was not pun­ished over the jew­elry, which he said be­longed to some­one else he de­clined to name.

In an­other de­vel­op­ment, city of­fi­cials named a 23-year veteran of the San­ford po­lice depart­ment as act­ing chief. The ap­point­ment of Capt. Dar­ren Scott, who is black, came days af­ter Chief Bill Lee, who is white, tem­po­rar­ily stepped down as the agency en­dured with­er­ing crit­i­cism over its han­dling of the case.

“I know each one of you — and ev­ery­one watch­ing — would like to have a quick, pos­i­tive res­o­lu­tion to this re­cent event,” Capt. Scott told re­porters. “How­ever, I must say we have a sys­tem in place, a le­gal sys­tem. It may not be per­fect but it’s the only one we have. I urge ev­ery­one to let the sys­tem take its course.”

Trayvon’s mother, Sy­b­rina Ful­ton, and fam­ily at­tor­neys blamed po­lice for leak­ing the in­for­ma­tion about the mar­i­juana to the news me­dia in an ef­fort to de­mo­nize the teenager.

“The only com­ment that I have right now is that they killed my son and now they’re try­ing to kill his rep­u­ta­tion,” Mrs. Ful­ton told re­porters.

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