Trayvon Martin Killing Puts Sanford, Florida on Edge
This isn’t the Florida retirement Becky Drumheller imagined back home in Pennsylvania.
She and her husband arrived March 24 in Sanford, a city about 20 miles north of Orlando consumed by the killing of Trayvon Martin, a black, unarmed 17-year-old Miami Gardens resident who was shot Feb. 26 in his father’s gated community by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman, whose mother is Hispanic and father is white, has claimed self- defense and has not been arrested, a decision that has prompted rallies across the nation, and that residents say has fractured this city of 54,000.
“There is so much negativity,” Drumheller, 63, said as a driver honked and motioned her out of the way in a shopping-mall parking lot. “It’s overwhelming.”
The Sanford City Council will hold a special meeting this afternoon at which Martin’s parents are expected to speak. In addition to the 1,200 seats at the Civic Center, where the meeting will be held, an overflow viewing area with a video screen has been set up at a nearby park.
Martin’s parents will lead an eight-block march to the Civic Center.
“The events that have recently occurred here in the city of Sanford have certainly taken a toll on everyone,” acting police Chief Darren Scott said at a news conference. Scott was appointed to the position today by City Manager Norton Bonaparte after former Chief Bill Lee stepped aside last week.