Identity Of Trayvon Martin's 'Cousin' Questioned
WABE and other local news organizations last month aired a story on a state senator’s rally to end Georgia’s Stand Your Ground law.
At the Dec. 11 event, a man claiming to be Trayvon Martin’s cousin spoke to a crowd of about 200 gathered at First Iconium Baptist Church near Grant Park. The man, Patrick Fulton, used his speech to implore those in attendance to help repeal the law, saying because of Stand Your Ground, he’d never again get to spend time with his cousin.
“We got to work together. We got to stand. We got to work with Sen. Fort to get this law repealed in this state,” Fulton said to the crowd.
WABE aired a piece of Fulton's speech, but has since learned this man lied about his relationship to the slain Florida teen.
State Sen. Vincent Fort hosted the event. He now says Fulton lied to him about being Martin’s cousin.
“After the rally, representatives of the family told me that the family did not know who he was and that he was not in fact a cousin and not a relation at all,” Fort said.
Speaking through a representative of Benjamin Crump, the Martin family’s attorney who also spoke at the rally, the Martin family said they don’t know Fulton.
Fort said he was approached early in 2013 by Fulton, who at the time claimed to be Martin's cousin and offered any assistance Fort might need. Fort says months later when he started organizing his rally around Stand Your Ground’s repeal, he asked Fulton to speak.
Fort said he didn’t vet Fulton because he didn’t have reason not to believe his claim.
“You just don’t believe someone would take advantage of a family who’s already been taken advantage of,” Fort said.
The senator said he was unsure why Fulton lied to him, and said Fulton wasn't offered any money to speak at the event.
Fort provided WABE with a phone number he said he used to reach Fulton.
Repeated calls to that number went straight to this voice message.
“M-A-T-L 01: The mobile customer you have called does not answer. Please try your call again later.”
Text messages to that number also never received a response.