February 26, 2012
What Happened: Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old boy with no criminal record, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Trayvon was unarmed, walking home from 7-11 and on the phone with his girlfriend. Zimmerman noticed him and called the police to report him as suspicious. Trayvon realized that Zimmerman was following him and began to run. Zimmerman pursued him despite the dispatcher telling him not to. The two confronted each other and had a physical altercation, ending in Trayvon’s death.
Charges: Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder. On July 13, 2013, he was acquitted.
Aftermath: Widespread national protests. The Trayvon Martin Foundation was established in 2012. Major attention was drawn to Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. Learn more at the sources below.