Neighbors hope to block permanent Trayvon Martin memorial

George Zimmerman charged with murder in teen's death

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SANFORD, Fla. - Trayvon Martin memorials continue to pop up outside the Retreats at Twin Lakes, even after the city of Sanford removed the former makeshift memorial and placed the items for safekeeping at the Sanford Museum.

Although visitors and gawkers to the site have waned in the five months since neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman shot and killed the unarmed teen, there's now talk of a permanent memorial. For some, it's a discussion that needs to wait until the trial is over.

"This was a tragedy to the Martin family, as we understand, but it hasn't played out yet," said Frank Taafe, a Zimmerman supporter and former neighbor. "Let's let this thing play out, because I know who the aggressor was and I know who the victim was."

Monday, Taaffe began going door-to-door with a pre-emptive strike to prevent a permanent reminder from being placed outside his neighborhood gates.

As Taaffe gathers signatures from his neighbors, the city manager and mayor told Local 6 there has not been any official proposal made to create a permanent memorial anywhere. However, Mayor Jeff Triplett confirmed there was a discussion last week with Martin family supporters.

Though nothing has been decided, that's not stopping people from signing a petition before any proposal is made.

"We've no problem with memorials. If they want to place one in downtown Sanford, fine. Just don't put it in front of our place here," said Taaffe. "I just hope and pray that everyone realizes that a tragedy did happen here and no one's gloating over this."

Taaffe said he and others plan to present the petition to the city commission meeting next week and Tuesday there will be a homeowner's association meeting where he's hoping to discuss the petition and gather more signatures.

On Monday, more than 100 jailhouse phone calls made by George Zimmerman were released. Also released was tapes of a woman identified as witness 9 telling investigators that Zimmerman molested her when they were children.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense.

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