Critics say Trayvon Martin’s Twitter feed shows Martin has a propensity towards violence who just might have acted aggressively towards George Zimmerman and been killed for it.
On March 26, the one month anniversary that Zimmerman,28, a Florida neighborhood watch volunteer, fatally shot 17 year old Martin, The Daily Caller , a Conservative website, published 152 pages of what has been called Trayvon’s Twitter feed.
According to the site, "the social media scan, executed on PeopleBrowsr and supplied to TheDC by the individual who performed the search, contains tweets from the last month of Martin’s life, dating to the beginning of 2012."
The site also says Martin tweeted under the handle “NO_LIMIT_NIGGA,” and that an image attached to the Twitter account shows Martin with gold teeth (or a grill) smiling into a camera.
The page no longer exists on Twitter, and as Bossip.com notes, "neither Twitter nor the Martin family has confirmed that these tweets belong to Trayvon Martin. However, many close friends have come out via twitter to acknowledge “NO_LIMIT_NI$$A” was indeed Trayvon’s twitter handle."
The Miami Herald reported, "by cross-referencing tweets from his account with those of people mentioned throughout, The Miami Herald was able to show the account was, in fact, Trayvon Martin’s."
As the Herald reported, most of his tweets revolved around girls and sex.
“I’m READY for a REAL relationship I’m talking mama meetin and all,” he said on Jan. 8, almost two months before his death.
He often retweeted Twitter account @iTeachSEXOLOGY, with tips on the physical acts of sex.
He loved the films Friday, starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker, and Next Friday, both of which poke fun at street culture. He posted YouTube clips from the films.
He often made fun of street culture, such as the time he retweeted this joke: “If you use kool-aid as hair dye #youghetto.”
He frequently retweeted viral jokes such as, “DOG, Y U NO EAT MY HOMEWORK?” and “GHETTO GIRL NAMED SHANEKAQUELA, Y U NO GET NORMAL NAME?”
He loved Tupac, DMX and Mystikal, all popular rap artists.
He often stayed up late at night waiting for girls to call or text. In one exchange, he singles out a girl to say he stayed up until 1 a.m. waiting for her call, to which she replied, “I did too call u at 12:18 !!!!!!”
Put together, critics said that the former picture of Martin as an all-American boy, who looked forward to college and loved sports that the nation has come to know, was wrong all along.
The Conservative Review puts it this way: Martin "appears to be the profile of a small time criminal thug on his way to a life in prison far more than it does a poor, innocent victim. It certainly lends more credibility to George Zimmerman’s claim that he was attacked and in fact was not the aggressor.
According to Zimmerman, as related by police, Zimmerman concedes that he was following Martin as per his watch duties but insisted “he had lost sight of Trayvon and was returning to his truck to meet the police officer when he says he was attacked by Trayvon.”
Adding more fuel to the fire, The Daily Caller reported on March 29 that they identified a second Martin Twitter handle used during the last weeks of 2011 under the name “T33ZY_TAUGHT_M3.”
The Daily Caller said the photo Martin chose to represent himself on Twitter as “T33ZY_TAUGHT_M3″ "depicts him in a black Polo cap, looking into the camera and extending his middle finger. "It’s unclear who Martin intended the message for, or whether he intended it to be taken literally," the site says under a message the teen allegedly wrote.
Martin just like other teens
But those aren't the only images his Twitter account displayed.
As the Miami Herald reported, in spite of the talk of sex, girls, quoting lyrics of rap, he showed that he was still a child. For instance, he "tweeted a picture of Scooby Doo gummy snacks and said he loved them so much he ate them constantly for lunch," The Herald writes.
Screengrab/ Trayvon Twitter via Twitpic
Picture of Scooby Doo gummy snacks that Martin tweeted and sent the picture to his followers.
The newspaper adds: "Mundane postings included references to Krispy Kreme doughnuts, ice cream, going to the movies and pulling all-nighters."
He also highlights what teens see as important in life, like his birthday countdown pictured below.
Michelle Kypriss, Martin's English teacher at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in Miami told the Sun Sentinel, that Martin, a junior was an A and B student, whose suspension when he shot was due to "tardiness and not misbehavior."
"Trayvon was not a violent or dangerous child. He was not known for misbehaving," the teacher said. "He was suspended because he was late too many times."
Online character may count
The discussion surrounding Martin's character comes just as special prosecutor, Angela Corey, said Tuesday that she would hold a news conference "within the next 72 hours" to release new information regarding the investigation into Martin's death, Reuters reported. She must decide whether to bring criminal charges against Zimmerman, who shot and killed Martin, saying it was in self-defense.
Some experts say the 17-year-old's perceived online character could become a factor in the case of his death.
“Basically what it boils down to is… whether or not [Zimmerman’s] conduct is reasonable,’’ University of Florida criminal law professor Kenneth Nunn told the Miami Herald.
“In order to determine that, you’d want to look at what [Trayvon’s] behavior traits have been, or may have been over time. When I’m trying a case and I’m concerned about a person’s character, I’m looking at anything.”
But Lyrissa Lidsky, a professor of media law at the University of Florida, told the Herald she disagreed.
She cautions that a person’s online persona may not offer a true picture of who they are, especially among young people.
“The persona you have online is not necessarily the same as the persona you have offline,” Lidsky said.
“It’s an artificial reality... It’s almost like make-believe.”
Twitter doesn't matter
The Washington Post's Alexandra Petri doesn't think Martin's online persona matters and jokes, "I pray that I may know the day and hour of my passing,"
Not so I can skydive. Not so I can tell my family I love them.
So I can go through and delete my browser history. Delete, for that matter, all the Facebook posts I don’t want engraved on my tombstone. Delete the ill-advised tweets about bourbon and breakfast. Select a staid, respectable profile image of myself in a collared shirt, with a perfect plasticine smile, ready to be plunked into the newspapers.
Others see in Martin, a part, of themselves. "As a teen in the early 2000s, I wore baggy clothes, smoked pot, got a couple tattoos, chased girls, and etc. I even wore a grill!" one wrote online. "It was part of being in the "in crowd" as a teen. Now I'm a family man with a bachelor's degree. All of my friends grew out of that stuff a few years out of high school. Trayvon Martin doesn't get a chance to."
"Exactly, I am a conservative, but I am on the side of Travyon," another wrote on the Daily Caller website, "now I may not agree with his "gangster" persona, but think about it, this is a KID Many teenagers in all sorts of different social groups want to be portrayed as tough bad asses white and black alone and they grow out of it as the years go on."
What do you think?
Does Trayvon's online persona give credibility to Zimmerman's self-defense claim, or is it a tactic of blaming the victim trying to justify murder? Let us know what you think below!