MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami-Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho on Wednesday condemned the leak of disciplinary records for 17 year-old Trayvon Martin. The junior at Michael Krop Senior High School was shot and killed by a community crimewatch member in Central Florida last month.
CBS4 News Partner The Miami Herald, quoting from school police reports and other sources, has revealed that Martin was suspended from school on three occasions. In one case he spray painted an obscene acronym on a school locker. In another he was caught, the paper reports, with a plastic baggie containing marijuana residue. In a third case he was suspended for tardiness and absences.
“I think it’s shameful that people are having access, unlawful access, to privileged and private information about children,” Carvalho said in an interview with CBS4’s Luis Zabala.
Carvalho said Trayvon’s disciplinary record is irrelevant to the circumstances of his killing, which the school superintendent has characterized as “an injustice.”
In a piece written for the paper, Carvalho took the killing personally, calling it the “senseless death of one of my students.” The superintendent said he was “outraged by the violent act,” adding that the “failure of authorities to properly investigate this tragedy is inexcusable.”
Carvalho on Wednesday said he has written the Department of Justice “to demand that a thorough review of this investigation takes place.”
The schools boss said Wednesday he’s disturbed by what he called the “secrecy” of police and prosecutors in Central Florida regarding their handling of the case. The police chief in Sanford, where the killing occurred, has said investigators determined the shooter, George Zimmerman, acted in self-defense under Florida’s “stand your ground” law. The police chief has since stepped aside, while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and an outside State Attorney
The Herald has reported that investigators recommended Zimmerman be charged in the shooting. It is not clear why their recommendation was not followed or who made the call not to arrest the man, known for his frequent calls to police reporting people in the neighborhood he believed to be suspicious.
Trayvon was not armed when Zimmerman confronted him. The boy was returning from a convenience store where he had bought a box of Skittles candy.
The killing has sparked outrage nationwide on the part of civil rights groups and many political leaders, who have condemned the shooting and slammed Florida’s stand your ground statute that allows citizens to use deadly force to defend themselves, with no duty to first attempt retreat.