source: Long Island Press
published: 24 April 2014
The heart-wrenching report Tracy Martin received from authorities in the immediate aftermath of his son’s death consumed him with a devastating combination of emotions that few can relate to: unbearable grief and seemingly uncontrollable anger.
The bullet fired by neighborhood watchmen George Zimmerman on the night of Feb. 26, 2012 in Sanford, Fla., punctured Trayvon Martin’s chest, piercing his heart, authorities told him. The gunshot also caused both his son’s lungs to collapse.
Thoughts about his upbringing in a gang-infested East St. Louis in Illinois, which had a population of nearly 99-percent African Americans, and was mostly dominated by two rival gangs, filled his mind. Youngsters were forced to pick a side.
“The mentality,” he said, “was eat or be eaten.”
“I could’ve called all bets off,” he recalled thinking after the fatal shooting. “Let’s have a riot.”
“But the greater part in me…the spiritual part in me told me that I was going to end up in jail, property was going to be destroyed, and my son was still going to be dead,” he added.