In an emotional interview with Anderson Cooper, Trayvon Martin‘s stepmother, Alicia Stanley, opened up about her inconsolable grief at the loss of a boy she helped to raise for 14 years, Zimmerman’s guilt, Trayvon’s character and being ignored by Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin.
Her voice shaking with pain and tears in her eyes, Stanley explained that she had helped raise Trayvon since he was 3-years-old, and that he was at her home with his father and her daughters “90 percent” of the time.
“Trayvon was a kind person, a loving person,” Stanley told Cooper. “He loved children, babies. You know before this happened, I really believed he would have been working with children; he adored children. He’s not what the media make him out to be…this thug.”
Stanley said that when the media started coming around, Tracy Martin stopped communicating with her and she didn’t understand why.
“He would just he was busy.”
Martin and Stanley eventually divorced. Trayvon was visiting his father at the home of his fiancee, Brandy Green, in the Retreat at Twin Lakes subdivision in Sanford, Florida, on the night that he was killed.
Rachel Jeantel, 19, the last person to speak to Trayvon before Zimmerman killed him, testified that he referred to Zimmerman as a ‘creepy-ass cracker,” but Stanley is skeptical.
“We didn’t teach that kind of language in our home.”
Stanley also said that she can not watch the trial.
To see and hear the things that led to his death. It’s hard for me. I don’t care to hear that.”
Refusing to speak ill of Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, — “I want her to know that I never tried to take her place.” — Stanley said that the purpose of her doing the interview was so that people could know that she existed and that she loved Trayvon. Tearfully stating that she was the one who cared for him on a day-to-day basis — ” I’m the one at all the football games; I’m the one who took care of him when he was sick” — she said that it broke her heart when she wasn’t allowed to sit on the front row at Trayvon’s funeral.
“They told me to ‘get in where I fit in,’ ” Stanley said, getting choked up. “I can’t sit on the front row at my son’s funeral to see him home. That hurt me, that was the most painful thing they could do to me.”