Trayvon Martin killing: Did race play a role in the shooting
Sanford, Fla. - While weeds begin to grow around an aging memorial to Trayvon Martin, no reminders are needed. Everyone is aware of what happened here and what they want.
"Justice. And what is justice?” asks Joshua Slaton, a local resident. “I mean, he should be doing time for what he did. It didn't have to go down that way. He didn't have to shoot him."
Martin, 17, was shot and killed in February by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who claimed self-defense. Authorities have charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting.
Race, many believe, is a factor and the FBI confirms it's looking into possible hate crime charges. Agents are now re-interviewing neighbors about any racial tension here, including Frank Taaffe, Zimmerman's friend and neighbor.
"I think Trayvon was enraged because George was on the phone, he'd already been suspended from school and Trayvon overheard him talking to the police and Trayvon was going to get his revenge," Taaffe says.
Meanwhile Zimmerman is in hiding. His attorney says there’s good reason for Zimmerman going into hiding.
"Level of one to 10 … what's his concern? Eight,” says Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s attorney. “He's very concerned. There are a lot of people, when you look on internet, Facebook, Twitter there's a lot of anger, hatred and it's focused on him."
Death threats are common. Even O'Mara's gotten a half dozen worthy of bringing in the police. And though it certainly could have been avoided, some believe much of the controversy could have been avoided too.
“Mr. Zimmerman looking one way and Trayvon another way, and then within a month there was a different picture,” says John Caruso, a resident. “The gentleman now had on a shirt and tie and the young man didn't look as wholesome."