Days after an elderly white man says he was beaten by teenagers in retaliation for the death of Trayvon Martin, a nearby college was vandalized with a message believed to be in support of the teenager’s killer, George Zimmerman.
Earlier this year, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot to death by George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old armed neighbor watch member patrolling a neighborhood in Sanford, Florida. With Zimmerman so far escaping charges in the case, many Americans have cried foul over the death of an unarmed black teen that has spawned a confession from the shooter but no charges.
At Ohio State University in Columbus this week, school officials say that a wall inside the college’s black cultural center was vandalized with graffiti proclaiming “Long Live Zimmerman.” Local news outlets have speculated that the slogan was in reference to Martin’s killer, and Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee tells the Associated Press that university police are “vigorously investigating” the incident.
In response to the vandalism, students at Ohio State waged a sit-in protest at the school on Friday.
Thursday’s revelation came but days after a man upstate in East Toledo, Ohio says he was accosted by a half dozen youths, both black and white, who he believes attacked him because of his skin color. Dallas Watts, a 78-year-old white man, says he urged his assailants to rethink his attack, insisting, “Why you picking on me? Remember Trayvon?”
“All I meant by saying ‘remember Trayvon’ is to remember what happened to him, don’t duplicate it here,” he tells a Fox News affiliate.
Zimmerman has yet to be charged in the killing but insists it was not racially motivated, despite critics insisting otherwise. Earlier this week NBC News apologized for editing an audio recording of a phone call Zimmerman made with Florida authorities on the night of Martin’s death to which some say incorrectly portrayed him in negative light.