By his own admission, Marcus Higgins was “mad at the situation” surrounding the shooting death of Trayvon Martin when he posted what he thought was the address and phone number of the man who shot Martin. Higgins tweeted the information more than 100 times on March 23, and film director Spike Lee retweeted it.
But Higgins (and Lee and others who retweeted him) should have counted to 10 and checked their facts. The address led to the home of an elderly Florida couple, David and Elaine McClain, who have lived there for years. The unwanted, sometimes hostile attention triggered by Lee’s retweet caused them to fear for their lives.
Higgins initially refuted reports that he posted the wrong address. But when the celebrity gossip show “Inside Edition” apparently contacted him, Higgins recanted and apologized repeatedly, insisting that he will personally write to the Florida couple, too. As of now, however, Higgins hasn’t deleted his erroneous tweets. Neither has Lee.
UPDATE, 9:40 p.m.: Lee just apologized for his retweet. “I Deeply Apologize To The McClain Family For Retweeting Their Address. It Was A Mistake. Please Leave The McClain’s In Peace. Justice In Court.” But he still has not deleted the tweet with the McClains’ address.
UPDATE, March 29: Lee “agreed to compensate the McClains for their loss and for the disruption into their lives. He’s taken full responsibility.”