Trayvon Martin’s most popular photo is that of a young kid with round cheeks and an innocent smile. Contrast that to the photo of George Zimmerman, Trayvon’s assailant, with his serious, muscular look.
However, at the time of his gunning, Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old, 140-pound teenager, who was 6’2″ and not the innocent kid portrayed in his most widely seen image.
George Zimmerman’s photo was also from several years ago, 7 years ago in particular, when he went to jail for a charge on assaulting an officer.
More sophisticated pictures of the two have since arrived then. One from Trayvon’s Twitter feed shows a picture of him half-naked and flipping a finger in front of a camera. In addition, the 28-year-old Zimmerman is seen smiling and looking sharp wearing a jacket and tie in one of the latest photos that surfaced.
According to Kenny Irby, a visual journalism teacher from Poynter University, when comparing two pictures in such stark contrast, it allows people to make rushed judgments. Authorities who chose to release photos of the two side-by-side – one a young, innocent boy, and another a criminal mugshot – may have helped stir up the starting perception the general public has over the incident.
To some, the message is simple: Keep agenda away from the truth.