It's been one year since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida, and even though the second-degree murder case against George Zimmerman has yet to begin, opinions and sentiments are nowhere near subsiding.
Zimmerman's brother, Robert, spoke with USA Today about the changes the family has had to endure since the Feb. 26, 2012, tragedy changed the course of their lives. Not only did Robert move to Florida from Virginia to serve as the family's spokesperson, but his day-to-day activities are strained because of the last name he carries.
"We don't even say hi to the next door neighbor or look at the cashier in the eye or talk to the guy at the gas station," Robert Zimmerman said. "Your entire human interaction is the people you grew up with. It's this survivor island."
The family stays inside most times, talking about the case or distracting themselves with traditions such as Sunday Salsa nights. As a result of the isolation, Robert says Trayvon's killer has gained 100 pounds. When Robert does step outside, he wears bulletproof vests, but it doesn't protect him from being confronted in public by those who have already marked his brother as guilty for the crime.
"George's entire family was smeared by proxy," he said. "The situation goes from peaceful to anxious, having uttered the Zimmerman name in public."
A vigil marking the one year anniversary of Trayvon's death was held in New York City Tuesday. Despite his defense team's attempts to delay the hearing, George Zimmerman's trial will commence June 10.
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(Photo: KTTV News)