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Trayvon Martin: Spike Lee settles with family forced to flee home

March 29, 2012|By Michael Muskal
  • Film director Spike Lee apologized to a Florida couple whose address he had retweeted.
Film director Spike Lee apologized to a Florida couple whose address he… (Robert Duyos / Sun Sentinel )

Spike Lee has reached an agreement with the Florida couple forced to flee their home after the film director retweeted their home address and they fled to a hotel to avoid problems associated with the shooting of Trayvon Martin, it was announced Thursday.

Elaine and David McClain, in their 70s, left their Sanford, Fla., home after their address was tweeted by a man who thought he had found the home of George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old who shot Martin, 17.  Lee then retweeted the McClains’ address to his followers on Twitter.

The McClains have a son, William George Zimmerman, who is not related to the George Zimmerman who shot Martin and whose arrest is being sought by Martin’s family and civil rights supporters.

 “The McClains’ claim is fully resolved,” Matt Morgan, their attorney, said in an email. “Mr. Lee personally called them to give a very heartfelt apology. Further, he agreed to compensate them for their loss and the disruption to their lives.

“The McClains were very moved by Mr. Lee's apology,” Morgan said. “They would like the Lee family to be left in peace,” Morgan said.

Earlier, Morgan had said that the McClains wanted to resolve the issues with Lee quickly to illustrate that whites and blacks could work together to settle their differences without escalating racial tensions. The shooting of Martin, an African American, by Zimmerman, the son of a white father and Latina mother, has become the latest racial battleground, sparking demonstrations around the country.

Zimmerman has told police that he fired at Martin in self-defense after the unarmed teenager attacked him that night.

The tweeting incident involving the McClains pitted privacy rights against social activism and was a sidelight to the furor over the shooting of Martin on Feb. 26. The shooting was originally propelled into the national arena in part by users of social media networks.

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michael.muskal@latimes.com

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