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Trayvon's Dad: 'My Kid Was Perfect to Me'

As jury selection begins for the trial of his son's killer, Tracy Martin speaks to The Root.

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What they don't understand is that Zimmerman didn't only murder my son -- he destroyed an entire branch of my family tree. I looked forward to the possibility of having grandkids from Trayvon. And that's something that can never happen now. But as far as the attacks on Trayvon's character, it certainly isn't true, and therefore doesn't affect me personally. I just hope it doesn't work with the jury and the public.

O'Mara has tried to focus attention on whether or not Trayvon had smoked marijuana in the past. First, that's irrelevant to the facts of the case. I recently read a government report that showed 36 percent of American high school seniors had tried marijuana in the past year. And white kids do it more often than blacks or Hispanics. Is that a reason to shoot a kid? Would Zimmerman have shot a white kid in that neighborhood?


My child was walking to get Skittles; that's a fact. Zimmerman has no defense, and O'Mara ... is relying on lies and the power of suggestion. My son was a good kid. Deep down in my heart, I believe justice will be done.

Benjamin Crump: What's important to keep in mind, from a legal perspective, is whether or not George Zimmerman acted with a depraved mind. It is fully established that Zimmerman has a past that includes an arrest for "resisting an officer with violence," and his former girlfriend sought a restraining order against him for domestic abuse. That order was granted by a judge who clearly had enough evidence to justify the order.

What isn't relevant to this second-degree-murder trial is the teenage victim's alleged dalliance with marijuana. In fact, that narrative has been constructed by Mark O'Mara as a red herring to deflect from the fact that Zimmerman was taking various prescription drugs that are known to have violent side effects. At the time he shot and killed Trayvon, Zimmerman was on Temazepam and Adderall -- drugs that cause insomnia, anxiety, aggressive behavior and hallucinations.

And because Sanford police failed to do a toxicology report on his blood-alcohol level, it's quite possible Zimmerman may have mixed those drugs with alcohol -- and thereby exacerbated the effects of the prescription drugs. These are the cold, hard facts that O'Mara doesn't want to talk about and he's afraid for the public to know.

TR: Are there broader legal implications to the case that aren't being discussed?

BC: Yes, absolutely. And it's troubling. The larger issue is the precedent that a potential acquittal of George Zimmerman would set. It would show how far this country still has to go with respect to offering equal protection under the law regardless of race. If Zimmerman gets off, it will tell other deranged minds and trigger-happy police officers that they can kill black and brown boys with impunity.

It is very clear from this case -- and American history in general -- that if it had been a black man who had tracked and killed a white child, no defense would be sufficient. That man would be in jail and likely facing the death penalty. George Zimmerman is every parent's worst nightmare. A self-proclaimed vigilante, on prescription drugs, taunting and tracking a child in the dark.

Trayvon Martin Case: A Timeline

Take a look at the major events in the controversial case as the trial begins.