Parents of slain Florida teen criticize info leaks
Updated: 2012-03-28 08:08
By Curt Anderson and Mike Schneider in Sanford, FloridaAssociated Press (China Daily)
The parents of a slain Florida teenager are blaming police for leaking information about their son being suspended for marijuana and details about the fight he had with the shooter that portrayed the teen as the aggressor.
Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, and family attorneys said on Monday that it was part of an effort to demonize her 17-year-old son who was shot and killed last month by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.
"They killed my son and now they're trying to kill his reputation," Fulton told reporters.
Martin 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. Martin was serving the suspension when he was shot Feb 26.
The Sanford Police Department insisted there was no authorized release of the new information but acknowledged there may have been a leak. City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. said it would be investigated and the person responsible could be fired.
Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said the link between the youth and marijuana should have no bearing on the probe into his shooting death. State and federal agencies are investigating, with a grand jury set to convene on April 10.
"If he and his friends experimented with marijuana, that is completely irrelevant," Crump said. "What does it have to do with killing their son?"
The State Department of Juvenile Justice confirmed on Monday that Martin does not have a juvenile offender record. The information came after a public records request by The Associated Press.