(SANFORD, Fla.) — Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager who was shot dead during a scuffle with a neighborhood watchman, was suspended from his Miami school three times over the past year, according to his family’s attorney.
The revelation that Martin, 17, was dogged by disciplinary problems at school was the latest salvo in a war of leaks meant to bolster each side amid rising tension over the Feb. 26 shooting.
Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, will appear before a House panel on Tuesday, and rallies continue around the country demanding that George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old watchman who shot Martin, be arrested.
Family attorney Benjamin Crump confirmed to ABC News that Martin had been slapped with a 10-day school suspension after a bag with suspected marijuana was found in his backpack.
Last year, Martin was also suspended for spraying graffiti on school grounds. The Miami Herald reported that the school guard who stopped him searched his backpack and found 12 items of women’s jewelry and a flathead screw driver that the guard believed to be a “burglary implement.” But Martin was never charged or specifically disciplined for the incident.
Crump alleged that Sanford police had leaked damaging information about Martin in order to muddy the case, calling it a “conspiracy.” The attorney called the school disciplinary problems “irrelevant” to the case that “an unarmed 17-year-old kid was killed.”
The case has triggered national interest, with pro-Martin rallies erupting in cities from coast to coast. Martin’s mother has moved to trademark two popular rallying cries, “I am Trayvon” and “Justice for Trayvon.” The family said it does not want other people printing memorabilia.
“Sybrina Fulton has no desire to profit from her son’s death, but wants to protect her son’s name legacy,” said family representative Ryan Julison.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
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