The Story Behind The Murder Of Trayvon Martin
In this major report, The New York Times brings us the most comprehensive account to date of the Trayvon Martin shooting, delving not only into the events of the shooting itself, but also into the lives of Trayvon and his shooter, George Zimmerman:
Over six feet tall and lanky, Trayvon was interested in girls, computer games, sports and the beat of the rap and hip-hop emanating from the ear buds of his smartphone. Sleeping in Miami Dolphins bedsheets, he was all teenage boy, and more.
Easygoing, with a default mood set at “chillin’,” as one schoolmate, Suzannah Charles, put it. The kind of kid who made tiny cakes in an Easy-Bake Oven with his 7-year-old cousin; who spoon-fed a close uncle, Ronald Fulton, who is quadriplegic, when his nurse was unavailable; who was an integral part of a close-knit family — raised properly, family members say, by Mr. Martin and his ex-wife, Sybrina Fulton, who works for Miami-Dade County’s housing agency.
George would stick up for a chubby boy in the neighborhood who was being bullied, recalled Austin (who, like Stephanie, asked that his last name not be used). “And if George saw bullies walking by his house, he would pull out his hose and spray them down and tell them they were wasting their time and to go and do something else.”
Mr. Zimmerman was also security-minded, Austin said. “He would knock on people’s doors at night and say that it was late and that ‘You better close your garage door.’ ”
But not everyone saw Mr. Zimmerman as their protector.
A 17-year-old African-American, Teontae Amie, who lives at the Retreat, recalled that Mr. Zimmerman once wrongly accused his friend of stealing a bike. “When you see him, you think automatically that he might try something,” said Teontae, who added that he kept his distance from the neighborhood watch coordinator.