Trayvon Martin Shooting: Clearing up prevalent myths and misstatements

Published On: Jun 07 2013 09:09:18 AM EDT   Updated On: Jun 07 2013 09:09:53 AM EDT
George Zimmerman Trial
SANFORD, Fla. -

With the start of jury selection just days away, we wanted to explore some of the myths or misstatements that have surfaced in the public forum since the start of the investigation.

We begin with an e-mail that went viral claiming to have details about the “Real” Trayvon Martin. It included the picture of a bearded, tattooed man described as six-foot-two, 172 pounds with a muscular build. Snopes.com discovered the man in the picture was actually a rapper in his 30s who goes by the name "Game." Martin’s autopsy would reveal the teen to be 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 158 pounds.

Then there was the George Zimmerman's 911 call that inflamed racial tensions after some speculated he used a racial slur. Turns out, the word in question was “punks”.

Zimmerman was often described as a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain but we learned from Wendy Dorival of the Sanford Police Department he was actually a neighborhood watch coordinator which is a notch above captain. As a community newsletter indicated it meant he was the liaison between his neighbors and the police. Dorival said, “I believe the HOA assigned him to coordinate the neighborhood watch.”

In the relentless call for an arrest in the weeks following Martin’s death there was much talk about the teen carrying Skittles and Iced Tea.

That beverage was actually an Arizona-brand fruit drink.

A minor point for sure but indicative of how quickly repetition of one misstatement can morph into a perceived truth, and in this case, a narrative.

Other items Martin had on him at the time of his death included a cell phone, headphones, a lighter, and a man’s picture framed in a tribute pin.

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