An online vendor who said he was capitalizing on controversy around the shooting death of Trayvon Martin told WKMG-TV in Orlanda that he rapidly "sold out" gun-range targets made to resemble the teen.
The targets did not picture 17-year-old Martin’s face, but instead portrayed a hoodie sweatshirt, a style that has become iconic since his death, with crosshairs drawn over the chest. The figure is shown holding a packet of Skittles candy and a beverage can, the video report showed.
Martin, who was unarmed, was walking to his father's house carrying Skittles and a can of ice tea after going to a store when he was shot to death by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman during a scuffle.
Prosecutors waited weeks before charging Zimmerman, who argues that the shooting was self-defense, with second-degree murder.
The Feb. 26 killing in Sanford, Fla. has sparked a furious debate about race, justice and guns.
Mark O’Mara, the attorney representing Zimmerman, told WKMG that the product advertisement, which has since been removed, represented "the highest level of disgust and the lowest level of civility."
In the ad, the seller professed to support Zimmerman and "to believe he is innocent and that he shot a thug," the WKMG report said.
When contacted by a TV reporter, the seller who — would not disclose his identity — wrote in an email that the main motivation for selling the targets was "to make money off the controversy." The ad, described as being on a popular firearms auction website, later disappeared from the Internet.
Meantime, Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton released a video on YouTube calling for prevention of "senseless gun violence" and reevaluation of "stand-your-ground" laws like the one in Florida that allows the use of deadly force in response to perceived threat of death or serious injury, the Orlando Sentinel reported Friday.
"This will be my first Mother’s Day without my son Trayvon," Fulton says in the video. "On Sunday I’m going to say a prayer for other mothers across America who share this unbearable pain."
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