Trayvon Martin’s Death Flashbacked My Teen Years

Note: With my new iPhone, I traveled my old stomping ground to illustrate this story.

When I first heard the details of the Trayvon Martin killing, my mind flashed back to Fern Park, Florida.   There I lived in St. John’s Village Apartments.

St, John's Village/Magnolia Groves

St. John’s is now called Magnolia Groves.

For those who have been living on a deserted island, 17 year-old Trayvon Martin was shot dead by 28 year-old George Zimmerman.  Trayvon Martin was coming from the store.  George Zimmerman claimed self-defense for killing an unarmed kid.  This happened in a gated community in Sanford.  Sanford exists a thirty minute drive from Fern Park, and is my hometown.   George Zimmerman is half-Latino and half-white.  Trayvon Martin was African-American.

Trayvon Martin being a 17 year-old African-American inspired my flashback.  Starting at 17, I liked to walk around at night.

Fern Park at Night

I rarely stayed out late.

Sometimes, I went to the store.

Store in Fern Park

 

As Trayvon possessed a taste for Skittles, my taste leaned towards Red Hots.

Red Hots

 

Of course, I had my run-in with cops.  I was a young black male, already assumed guilty before I received  a fair trial.  My most memorable incident happened at this spot, located near the store.

Spot where cops harrassed my ass.

 

Mind you, Fern Park isn’t the hood.  It’s the sub-urbs.

I was nineteen at the time.  Wasn’t doing a damned thing but taking a walk.

A cop car pulled up and stopped  in front of me.  Two white cops stepped out.  Both were middle-aged I think.  One held a huge flashlight, huge enough to knock me in the head.  In a friendly manner, they asked for ID.  Then, they called my driver’s license in.  I behaved because I kept visioning the flashlight knocking me in the head.

After learning I wasn’t a criminal, the cops  soon let me on my merry (and scared) way.

Months later, I just happen to run into a paralegal.  After telling him about my incident with the cops, the guy told me my civil rights had been violated.

This is why I flashback when I think about Trayvon Martin.  He reminds me of my own teenaged years.  As of this writing, I’m forty-three.  Thinking about my teen years, I sometimes wonder if what happened to Trayvon Martin could have happened to me.

 

Fern Park at night. Abstract.

 

 

 

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