Atlanta teens on Trayvon Martin: 'It could have been me'

8:35 PM, Mar 23, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA - The case of Trayvon Martin hits home for black families across the country, including Atlanta. It brings to light the harsh reality of racial profiling - one African-American men face every day.

11Alive's Blayne Alexander talked to two families who fear Trayvon Martin's story could happen to them.

Corey Harris is looking toward college. A high school senior, excellent student and star athlete, Harris is looking forward to attending school on a basketball scholarship.

For him, Martin's death hit home.

"It could have been me. It could have been one of my teammates," he said. "Every time I go out, I have to make smart decisions because of how some people view African-Americans."

RELATED: "I am Trayvon Martin" rally planned at GA State Capitol

His mother says she's scared every time he's away from home.

"My son goes to a Christian school. He's a very good student, a very good athlete," said Corey's mother, Patty Garrett.

"But he doesn't wear that on his chest. So the people that are coming and asking him questions or the police that stop him, they don't know that. All they see is another African-American teen who, in their eyes, is up to no good."

For Atlanta father Tim Cobb, there is a sad feeling of deja vu as he warns his son Avery about the same racial profiling he faced decades ago.

"It does scare me, because he can be in a situation away from home, not perceive it as dangerous and disaster can strike," Cobb said.

Martin was killed last month in Sanford, Florida by a neighborhood watch volunteer. George Zimmerman has not been arrested for the crime; he claims he shot Martin in self-defense. The 17-year-old was unarmed, carrying only a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles.

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