USA TODAY, February 26, 2013
By Yamiche Alcindor
NEW YORK — Robert Zimmerman wears bulletproof vests when he goes outside his house. He doesn’t greet neighbors or look grocery store cashiers in the eye. Once, angry customers at Starbucks confronted him over one of the nation’s most controversial cases.
Zimmerman is not a suspect, but his brother, George, is the man accused of murdering Trayvon Martin a year ago Feb. 26. Like Trayvon’s family, Zimmerman’s family has been forever changed since the night Trayvon, a teenager whose parents say was racially profiled, was fatally shot in a dark Florida subdivision.
Amid plans for a vigil in memory of Trayvon in New York City, the families of George Zimmerman and Trayvon are speaking as publicly about the case as ever.
“George’s entire family was smeared by proxy,” said Robert Zimmerman, 31, who moved from Virginia to act as a full-time spokesman for his family. “The situation goes from peaceful to anxious, having uttered the Zimmerman name in public.”
Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, 46, continues to be haunted by the moment he identified his son’s dead body. For him, Feb. 26, the day of the shooting, and Feb. 27, the morning he identified his son, mark the worst days of his life.
“I just want to erase those two days,” he said. “No healing has been done inside my heart.” (more…)