As George Zimmerman’s supporters work to stem the rising tide of public outrage aimed at the neighborhood watchman who shot and killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin last month, a new picture of the victim—culled from the 17-year-old’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and witness testimony—has emerged.
“With a single punch,” the Orlando Sentinel, citing police sources, reported Monday, “Trayvon Martin decked the Neighborhood Watch volunteer … climbed on top of [him] and slammed his head into the sidewalk several times, leaving him bloody and battered.”
“That is the account Zimmerman gave police,” the paper said, “and much of it has been corroborated by witnesses, authorities say.”
Zimmerman’s attorney, Craig Sonner, says that Zimmerman acted in self-defense and is not a racist as some have portrayed him.
“I think we need to let the investigation come forward and let all the facts in this case come out,” Sonner said on the “Today” show. “I think it’s going to tell a different story than the way it’s been related and portrayed in the media.”
According to a CNN poll released Monday, 73 percent of Americans think police should arrest Zimmerman.
Meanwhile, the difference between the typical teenager Martin’s family and supporters say he was and the way he presented himself on social media is the subject of increasing debate.
As Dan Linehan, a blogger at Wagist.com, pointed out, correspondence with Martin on Twitter before he died alludes to an incident with a bus driver. “Yu ain’t tell me you swung on a bus driver,” Martin’s cousin wrote to him on Feb. 21.
The same week, Martin was suspended for 10 days from Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in North Miami-Dade. “He was not suspended for something dealing with violence or anything like that,” his father said. “It wasn’t a crime he committed, but he was in an unauthorized area [on school property],” declining to offer more details.
But a family spokesman told the Associated Press on Monday that Martin was suspended because marijuana residue was found in his book bag.