Trayvon Martin Suspended From School Three Times: Report

Teen suspended for graffiti, empty marijuana baggie

While activists, protesters and the parents of Trayvon Martin continue to push for his shooter's arrest, more details are being learned of his suspensions and reported troubles at school.

The 17-year-old was suspended three times in a series of incidents that included getting caught spraying graffiti and carrying an empty baggie with traces of marijuana, according to a Miami-Dade Schools Police report obtained by the Miami Herald.

The report details an incident from October, when a school police investigator said he spotted Martin on a surveillance camera "hiding and being suspicious" in an unauthorized area at Krop High School.

The investigator later saw Martin mark a door with "W.T.F." or "what the f--k," the report said. When the school cop searched Martin's backpack the next day looking for the graffiti marker, he reported he found women's jewelry and a screwdriver described as a "burglary tool," the report said.

According to the report, the 12 pieces of jewelry included silver wedding bands, earrings with diamonds and a watch. The investigator asked about the jewelry and "Martin replied it's not mine. A friend gave it to me," the report said.

He declined to name the friend. The jewelry was impounded and photos of the pieces were sent to Miami-Dade police, but Martin was only suspended for the graffiti. No evidence was ever released that the jewelry was stolen.

"We have received several inquiries from media outlets regarding an incident that occurred on October 21, 2011, at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School involving Trayvon Martin," Miami-Dade Police said in a statement released Tuesday. "At that time, the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) was contacted by Miami-Dade Schools Police Department (MDSPD) to assist in identifying property found in Trayvon Martin’s possession. Our records yielded negative results and MDSPD was advised of such findings."

Four months after the October incident, Martin was suspended after he was caught with the empty baggie with traces of marijuana in it, the report said. A "marijuana pipe" was also found on the teen, the report said. A family spokesperson confirmed the marijuana baggie suspension Monday.

Martin's third suspension was for tardiness and truancy, his family said Monday.

The family's attorney, Benjamin Crump, confirmed the graffiti suspension but said they knew nothing about the jewelry and the screwdriver and called it "irrelevant" and an attempt to "demonize" the teen.

Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, blamed police for leaking the marijuana information.

"They killed my son and now they're trying to kill his reputation," Fulton said.

Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on Feb. 26 in Sanford.

Martin was visiting with his father at his father's girlfriend's home in a gated community and had gone to buy a bag of Skittles and iced tea at a nearby convenience store and was walking back when the shooting happened.

Though Martin was unarmed, Zimmerman told police the shooting was self-defense, and no charges have been filed in the case.

Earlier Monday, it was revealed by authorities that Zimmerman told police the teen had punched him in the face and knocked him to the ground then climbed on top of him and slammed his head into the sidewalk several times.

Zimmerman told police he had turned around and was walking back to his SUV when Martin approached him from behind and the two got into a verbal altercation, according to the Orlando Sentinel report.

Martin asked Zimmerman if he had a problem and Zimmerman said no and reached for his phone, he told police, according to the report.

"Well, you do now," Martin said, according to Zimmerman, before he threw the first punch, the Sentinel report said.

Martin punched Zimmerman in the nose and began beating him on the ground, leaving him bloodied and battered, authorities said, according to the report.

Zimmerman told police he began yelling for help, though Crump and witnesses say it was Martin that was yelling for help.

His parents and their lawyer, Benjamin Crump, have said such reports are irrelevant to the shooting and part of an attempt to demonize Martin. Crump did not return calls to The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, black Democratic members of the Florida Legislature are demanding that a special session be called to consider whether to repeal the state's seven-year-old "Stand Your Ground" law, which eliminated a person's duty to retreat when threatened with seriously bodily harm or death.

Sanford police have cited the law as the reason Zimmerman wasn't arrested after the shooting. They are also demanding that a task force appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to examine the shooting and any changes needed to state law begin work immediately instead of waiting for the police investigation to conclude.

"Whether self-defense was a legitimate factor, the law remains intact — with all the same components still in place for more killings and additional claims of self-defense, warranted or not," state Sen. Chris Smith wrote in a statement to the governor. "...I'm sure you will agree that delaying the work of the task force — possibly up to one year or longer — suits no purpose other than to allow more tragedies to unfold."

But Scott and other Republicans have insisted that the state should wait until ongoing police investigations are completed.

Republican Rep. Dennis Baxley, one of the sponsors of the law, said that "when things have cooled off a little bit I think it's worthy to sit down and say is there legislation that is needed."

In Sanford Tuesday, the city manager said that hiring an outsider to run the police department is a priority to help cool tensions caused by Martin's death and the investigation.

Police Chief Bill Lee temporarily stepped down after outrage erupted over the police department's handling of the shooting.

Darren Scott, a 23-year veteran of the Sanford Police Department, was named acting chief. Lee is still employed with the department and receiving his salary.

At a news conference Tuesday, Bonaparte and Scott refused to answer any questions about an information leak to the media. The leak contained an account by Zimmerman that said Martin was the aggressor in a fight leading up to the shooting. Officials have said they will investigate where the leak came from.

"We have a legal system in place and we ask that people let it take its course," Darren Scott said. "I am concerned with everyone's concerns, but I will not comment on the investigation."
The shooting has led to marches and rallies in South Florida and across the country, as the family and activists push for Zimmerman's arrest.

The U.S. Justice Department and FBI are investigating the shooting, and last week Lee, the police chief, announced he was temporarily stepping down during the investigation into the shooting.

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