As the Trayvon Martin controversy gains steam, an elderly couple unconnected to the case have become unwitting victims of the public backlash. A retired Sanford, Florida couple was forced to vacate their home and move into a hotel after their home address was mistakenly associated with George Zimmerman, the man who shot Martin.
A California man reportedly tweeted the Sanford, Florida couples' address, incorrectly asserting that it was, in fact, the address of Zimmerman, the shooter. Director Spike Lee retweeted the info, invoking the wrath of his quarter-million twitter followers.
Ever since that fateful retweet, the couple, aged 72 and 70, have received a deluge of hate mail, death threats and unwanted media attention. The geriatric couple's son, Chip Humble, told the Orlando Sentinel, that his parents' neighbors had begun to question them about the heightened scrutiny.
Both the elderly couple and their children tried to mitigate the damage by contacting the California tweeter, but the only response they got was, "Black power all day. No justice, no peace," followed by an obscenity.
The old woman's son from a previous marriage told the media, "This is really scary, and I'm concerned for my family. It's scary because there are people who aren't mentally right and will take this information and run with it. To endanger people who are innocent because people are angry is not the answer. That's not how we're going to heal. It's not [going] to help the Martin family for someone else to be hurt."
For more information on the Trayvon Martin shooting check out our gallery of Trayvon Martin protest images.