- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 5, 2013

The sole trustee of Lowell Observatory is looking to name a once-forgotten asteroid after slain teenager Trayvon Martin.

Lowell Observatory astronomers found the asteroid 2000 TM61 on Oct. 2, 2000. They catalogued it among hundreds of other asteroids they discovered as part of their search for Near Earth Asteroids, the Arizona Daily Sun reported.


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According to the report, the asteroid was forgotten until shortly after 17-year-old Martin was fatally shot on Feb. 26, 2012 in Sanford, Fla. His killer, 30-year-old George Zimmerman, was acquitted of second-degree murder in July of this year.

Trustee William Lowell Putnam III believes the slain teen did not receive justice.

“As I see it, the social fairness showed to Trayvon Martin was very sadly lacking,” he said, according to the Daily Sun. “Inasmuch as I am the sole trustee of an institution which has some naming privileges, I want to do my share to see that this lad is remembered in an appropriate manner.”

Following Zimmerman’s indictment, the report said, Mr. Putnam had astronomer Edward Bowell submit the suggested name.

“Named in memory of Trayvon Martin (1995-2012), a student at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School in Miami, Florida. Unarmed, he was fatally shot in Sanford, Florida, during an altercation with the neighborhood watch coordinator,” the citation for asteroid 2000 TM61 reads.

The Minor Planet Center, which alongside the International Astronomical Union decides what to name astronomical bodies said the name was “premature,” but did not elaborate, the Daily Sun reported.

Mr. Putnam is renewing his effort now that Mr. Zimmerman has been acquitted.