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Controversy sparks over Trayvon Martin memorial

8:36 AM, Jul 31, 2012   |    comments
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SANFORD, Fla. (WKMG) - Controversy is sparking over the new location for a memorial for Trayvon Martin, the Sanford teen who was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman.

Around 100 people attended a meeting Monday night over the relocation of a memorial from the Retreat at Twin Lakes neighborhood where Martin was shot and killed Feb. 26.

Some residents felt moving it was disrespectful to move it and saw it as a way to remember the 17-year-old.

"We want the memorial back up,"  said resident Turner Clayton of the NAACP. "It is not on display in the museum, it's packed away in a box."

Others who lived in the neighborhood wanted the memorial moved, saying it was an eyesore and cast their neighborhood in a bad light.

"They were taken to be preserved at the Sanford Museum," said Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte. "That angered some people."

The question over how to memorialize Martin grew into a discussion about what to do about the other 25 recent deaths in Sanford and if other memorials around town should be relocated. Clayton pointed out other memorials around town should be treated the same way.

"The city has not as of today answered any questions to my satisfaction as to why this particular memorial was removed in the first place," he said.

Clayton says Martin's memorial doesn't mean that only he should be singled out.

"I think it's important that Trayvon be singled out for a memorial that doesn't mean there can't be another memorial for other victims of violence," he said.

It's not clear what will be done with the items from the original memorial and where the new memorial will be put up. Bonaparte said the city will look at roadside memorial laws in other cities to compare.

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