The hoodie worn by Trayvon Martin when he was shot to death in Florida last year could end up in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African History and Culture, which is expected to open in 2015, reports the Washington Post. The hoodie is now among evidence being held while the Justice Department conducts a civil rights investigation, an inquiry believed to have little chance in resulting in charges. Martin’s family eventually would have to decide whether it wants the hoodie.
Civil-rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton says, “I would like to see it preserved,” contending that it was used to profile Martin as a criminal. Museum director Lonnie Bunch, who would like the hoodie, already has assembled other pieces with legal themes, such as a guard tower from Louisiana's notorious Angola State Penitentiary and the handcuffs used to restrain African American scholar and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. after his arrest at his home in Cambridge, Ma. Bunch says of the hoodie: “It became the symbolic way to talk the Trayvon Martin case. It's rare that you get one artifact that really becomes the symbol.”