A chance-encounter killing caught the country's attention when George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, allegedly followed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a black teenager in a hooded sweatshirt, walking in a gated community in Sanford, Fla. After a call to a 911 operator, who advised Zimmerman to wait for police, he instead confronted the unarmed teen. Within minutes, Trayvon was dead.
A charge might not have been filed, but Trayvon's parents made the case public by filing a petition through Change.org, asking that charges be brought.
Many showed support for Trayvon by wearing hoodies over their heads. Others organized a Million Hoodie March.
Emerging from this incident was the debate over the "stand your ground" defense, which allows a person to defend himself with lethal force anywhere it's legal for that person to be. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder, but the case has been marked by conflicting reports of the encounter between Zimmerman and Trayvon. The trial for Zimmerman is set for June 10, 2013.
- Society & Culture
- Crime & Justice
- George Zimmerman