The tragic shooting death of Trayvon Martin at the hands of volunteer night watchman George Zimmerman occurred exactly a year ago today in a Florida suburb. Over the last 365 days, details surrounding the case have slowly been trickling to the public. As new developments continue to arise, there are still a host of unanswered questions.
On the night of Feb. 26, 2012, the 17-year-old Miami resident was walking from a local convenience store back to his father’s home in Sanford, Fla. With snacks in hand, the teenager caught the attention of Zimmerman as he patrolled the gated Retreat at Twin Lakes town home community.
Wary of Martin’s movements, Zimmerman tailed the boy as he radioed into police officials to report what he assumed to be suspicious activity. After being instructed to wait for police to arrive on the scene, Zimmerman approached Martin and an alleged scuffle took place. Zimmerman claims he was left with no choice but to shoot and kill the unarmed Martin after suffering blows to the head and face. The volunteer guardsman evoked Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law to defend his use of force.
As police arrived, Zimmerman was reported bloody and shaken. He was whisked away for treatment along with questioning from authorities. After five hours, police took Zimmerman’s “Stand Your Ground” stance into account and released him. As the case broke on national news, many were outraged despite scant details from the media outlets. Zimmerman was formerly charged two months after the incident, and is currently free on $1 million bail.
The slain high school student’s parents, Tracey Martin, and Sybrina Fulton, emerged amid the chaos demanding justice for their son. With the assistance of family attorney, Benjamin Crump, they bravely appeared on morning talk shows, daytime radio, and other outlets, to call attention to the matter. Rallies and vigils sprung up around the nation and Black leaders like as Rev. Al Sharpton led many of the charges in Florida and other locations.
HipHopWired takes a look back at the Martin case, highlighting key information that stood out over the past year on the following pages.
Photo: Trayvon Martin, AP