Trayvon Martin Memorial Removal Sets Off Tensions in Sanford

A makeshift memorial dedicated to slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin has been removed, and the controversy over the newly disassembled Trayvon Martin memorial is the latest battleground in the highly polarizing case.

The Trayvon Martin memorial had been slowly building — albeit without town permits or any official sanction — at the site where the teen was gunned down by George Zimmerman on February 26th.

Unlike many other high profile cases, the basic facts surrounding the killing — ones that in part made the case so controversial — were not in dispute. What is known is that Martin left his father’s home to purchase snacks during a basketball game, that George Zimmerman was patrolling the neighborhood looking for troublemakers, and that Martin spotted Zimmerman and may have attempted to evade the strange man following him on that rainy winter evening.

It is widely believed that Zimmerman then confronted Martin, and that a scuffle between the two young men ensued. At the end of the dispute, Trayvon Martin lay dead, and Zimmerman was later released by Sanford police officers, walking free for more than 40 days before he was finally arrested on a charge of second-degree murder.

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In the days following the shooting, the Trayvon Martin case became a viral cause on the internet due to what many perceived as a blatant miscarriage of justice because of the teen’s skin color. And even something as simple as the Trayvon Martin memorial was able to incite racial tensions, as Zimmerman neighbor Frank Taaffe told press:

“It’s extremely unpalatable to the majority of residents… it’s disdainful because we don’t know yet who the victim was and who the aggressor was.”

City officials confirmed that a Trayvon Martin memorial was in the “discussion” stage of planning only.