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Death of Florida Teen Puts Spotlight on Public Perception of Men in Hoodies

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — In light of the Travyon Martin story, hooded sweatshirts, or hoodies, have become more than just a piece of clothing. The unarmed 17-year-old Martin was wearing a hoodie and returning from a trip to a convenience store in Sanford, Florida, when a neighborhood watch captain started following him, telling police dispatchers he looked suspicious. The watch captain says he shot Martin in self-defense. Some young people say public perception of African-American men wearing hoodies is increasingly negative.”I feel like dudes wearing hoodies, automatically, they’re going to think that it’s gang-related or they’re up to something for no good,” said Shyhetta Bellamy of Savannah.”When they see a couple of black guys walk into a store they think we’re already about to rob them or something. The hoodie thing makes it even worse, because they think well he’s got a hoodie and he walks into the store, you’ve got to keep a lookout on him,” said Jonathan Futch, also of Savannah.Journalist Geraldo Rivera made headlines Friday when he said Martin’s hoodie is as much responsible for his death as the man who shot him.

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