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Trayvon Martin case: sparks of racial violence appear

Police report isolated incidents of blacks attacking whites in the name of 'justice for Trayvon Martin.' The incidents are rare, but they indicate frustrations in the African-American community. 

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Trayvon Martin's parents, Tracy Martin (foreground left) and Sybrina Fulton (foreground center) participate in the Million Hoodie March in Union Square in New York in this file photo. They have called for peaceful protests in support of their slain son.

John Minchillo/AP/File

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Recent isolated incidents of violence against whites by blacks, in which Trayvon Martin's name has been reportedly invoked as a justification, indicate that anger and frustration over the case within the African-American community are boiling over in rare instances. 

  • On Wednesday, 18-year-old Alton Hayes was charged with a hate crime for beating and robbing a white man in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Ill. He told police he was angry over the Trayvon case, in which neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, who is part-white and part Hispanic, says he shot Trayvon in self-defense.
  • On Saturday, a group of black people severely beat a white man in Mobile, Ala., with one participant reportedly claiming, “Now, that’s justice for Trayvon.” Mobile police say the attack was not motivated by the Trayvon case.
  • On April 11, when a white man attempting to stop a black purse-snatcher in Gainesville, Fla., attracted a crowd, some people started shouting "Trayvon!" and three people in the crowd started stomping on the white man's hands. Earlier in the week, a white man in the town said he was beaten by several black men who shouted "Trayvon," but police said he was intoxicated and could not confirm his report.

The attacks put a sharper edge on recent polling data, which show that whites and blacks view the Trayvon case differently. Twice as many blacks and Hispanics as whites (73 percent versus 36 percent) say race played a major role in the shooting, according to a recent Monitor/TIPP poll. 

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