Today marks the one year anniversary of the Trayvon Martin shooting, the incident that sparked an international conversation about race, gun control and law enforcement.
Martin was headed back to the home of his father's girlfriend shortly after 7 p.m. on Feb. 26, 2012, after a trip to the convenience store. George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood-watch member, reported Martin to the police and told the 911 dispatcher that the teenager looked "suspicious." Zimmerman was told by the dispatcher not to follow Martin, but a few minutes after the police call, Martin lay dead from a gunshot to the chest.
Zimmerman admitted to police that he shot Martin, but claimed he acted in self-defense. He was later arrested and charged with second-degree murder, and is currently awaiting trial set for June 10.
The case garnered national attention, with protests and rallies around the country calling for the shooting to be investigated and for Zimmerman to be prosecuted.
However, sentiments surrounding the case have been split. While many have asserted that the former neighborhood watchman racially profiled the teen, others have implied that he was justified in his actions, an opinion that hits home for Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton.
It really is disheartening to know that people in general are trying to justify why this adult male went after this teenage, young man. You can’t justify it. You can’t give a reason why. Because he was wearing a hoodie? Because of the color of his skin? Because of what he thought?
[I]f this adult had remained in his vehicle, like the police dispatcher advised him to do, then this situation could have been avoided. He chose to follow my son. He chose to pursue my son. He chose to confront my son. And the result is my son’s death. I believe the responsibility lies on him as an adult because my son was not following him. He did not confront him. He did not chase him. And he did not have a weapon.
One year later, the world waits for the outcome of a story that quickly became one of the biggest of the year. Both the investigation and the conversation surrounding the case have evolved a great deal, and there's no doubt that conversation will continue once the trial proceedings begin this summer.
Check out the slideshow below and take a look at some of the major moments in the Trayvon Martin case.