COMMENTARY | Similar to past racial powder kegs like the Gena Six case and Duke lacrosse team scandal, the Trayvon Martin case has surprised the public with new developments. According to The Cutline, elements of Martin's less-than-pure online activities are coming to light, calling into question the previous portrayal of the dead teen as someone who had never been in trouble.
While a teenager's tweets to friends can hardly be considered an accurate indicator of true personality and public behavior, especially when many people tweet and post status updates to get laughs or spark controversy, it does make the case less clear-cut.
The Associated Press reports Martin was recently suspended from school for marijuana instead of being in an "unauthorized area" as first declared by his father. If Martin was spending time in Sanford, Fla., because of his 10-day suspension from high school for marijuana, it is more conceivable the teen, angry over recent events, would have responded aggressively to a mysterious and pushy George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watchman who shot him and is alleging self-defense.
The suspension could drastically change the presumed state of mind of the teenager. He could have been seething with anger at the suspension. Being confronted by a pushy, hostile-sounding neighborhood watchman could reasonably been seen as sending Martin "over the edge" and provoke the physical battery Zimmerman claims. Attorneys for Zimmerman will undoubtedly bring up this point.
Martin's drug suspension also lends a bit of credibility to Zimmerman's claim during his 911 call that Martin appeared to be intoxicated.
While Martin's suspension and some aggressive-sounding tweets hardly constitute case-altering evidence, it does make the call for people to slow down and allow a thorough investigation to take its course.