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The Trayvon Martin case: ‘Too much’ coverage in the eye of the beholder

A funeral director who handled the body of Trayvon Martin said he saw no evidence that the 17 year old, who was shot and killed by a Neighborhood Watch volunteer, had been in a recent fight.

(NNPA) – A funeral director who handled the body of Trayvon Martin said he saw no evidence that the 17 year old, who was shot and killed by a Neighborhood Watch volunteer, had been in a recent fight.

 George Zimmerman (left) remains free after the Feb. 26 fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin (right).

 On the steps of the John Wilson Building in Washington, D.C., a little girl is making the sign of the gun and holding the Skittles that Trayvon Martin had when he was shot. Thousands of people were at Freedom Plaza on March 26 in honor of Martin. (Photo courtesy of NNPA/Roy Lewis.)

Funeral director Richard Kurtz said he saw no sign of struggle on Martin’s hands and no indication that Martin had punched Zimmerman in the face.

Martin’s Feb. 26 shooting continues to capture widespread public interest. According to the Pew Research Center’s latest weekly News Interest Index Survey (March 29-April 1), Martin’s shooting was the public’s top story for the second consecutive week. But interest in the teenager’s death is deeply divided along partisan, as well as racial, lines. The differences also are apparent in reactions to news coverage of the incident: Far more Republicans (56 percent) than Democrats (25 percent) say there has been too much coverage.

African Americans are far more likely than whites to say they are closely tracking news about the Florida teenager’s death. Fully 58 percent cite news about Martin’s killing as their top story, compared with 24 percent of whites. Fourty-three percent of whites say the story has received too much coverage,

Kurtz made his assertion March 28 on Headline News’ “Nancy Grace Show” amid claims by Sanford, Fla. law enforcement officials and George Zimmerman’s father that 17-year-old Martin attacked Zimmerman, an armed Neighborhood Watch volunteer, the night he was killed.

“First of all when I received the body with the death certificate, I noticed the gunshot wound,” Kurtz said. “But (with) his hands and his knuckles; I didn’t see any evidence that he’d been fighting anybody.”

Asked to clarify, Kurtz said there were no cuts or bruises on Martin’s hands or any other injuries on his body aside from the gunshot wound.

Kurtz’s  observations are at odds with the account that Zimmerman’s father, Robert Zimmerman told WOFL Fox 35 in Orlando.

“It’s my understanding that Trayvon Martin got on top of him and just started beating him,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman, a former magistrate in the Virginia state court system, said that his son started to follow Martin because he thought it was suspicious that Martin was walking between the houses in the gated community instead of using the street or the sidewalk on a rainy night. He said Martin approached his son after Zimmerman got out of his vehicle.

“He went to the next street, realized where he was and was walking to his vehicle,” Zimmerman said. “It’s my understanding; at that point, Trayvon Martin walked up to him and asked him, ‘Do you have a (expletive) problem?’ George said, ‘No, I don’t have a problem,’ and started to reach for his cell phone… at that point, he (Martin) was punching him in the nose, his nose was broken and he was knocked to the concrete.”

Many viewed Robert Zimmerman’s story as incongruent with video of George Zimmerman released by the police. The first released video did not show signs that George Zimmerman had been in a fight. An enhanced version of the video, say some observers, does reflect what seem to be injuries to Zimmerman’s head.

Meanwhile, calls for Zimmerman’s arrest continue throughout the nation, including another held in Memphis at Northside High School on Saturday (March 31) morning.

(Special to the NNPA from Afro-American Newspaper)


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