Trayvon Benjamin Martin was born on Feb. 5, 1995. He lived with his mother Sybrina Fulton and attended high school in Miami Gardens, Fla.
In February 2012, Martin was visiting his father Tracy Martin in Sanford, Fla.
On Feb. 26, 2012, Martin was shot dead as he walked home from a convenience store. He was only 17.
Martin was wearing a sweatshirt with the hood up.
The man who shot Martin, George Zimmerman, was a neighborhood watch captain. He called 911 to report, “a real suspicious person.”
Zimmerman told the dispatcher, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining, and he’s just walking around.”
When the dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was following the individual, he answered “Yes.”
Zimmerman was told not to get out of his vehicle or approach the person. He ignored the instructions. Moments later, Martin was dead.
Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. He was arrested and released on bail.
During his trial, prosecutors argued that Zimmerman was a “wannabe cop” who “profiled” Martin and “automatically assumed that Martin was a criminal”.
Zimmerman claimed he shot Martin in self-defence.
He was eventually acquitted of Martin’s murder.
Zimmerman’s acquittal sparked a debate about Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, civil rights and racial profiling. Demonstrations occurred across the U.S.
Martin’s parents established the Trayvon Martin Foundation to help parents and families that lost children to gun violence. They speak out frequently against Stand Your Ground laws.
If he was alive, Martin would be 25 years old.
SOURCES: CNN, NPR.ORG, THEGUARDIAN.COM