On Feb. 26, Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old Florida high school student, was allegedly pursued and shot by George Zimmerman, a 28 year old neighborhood watch captain.
Zimmerman claimed that he was acting in "self-defense" and that Martin "looked suspicious," thus the reason why he shot Martin. Zimmerman has yet to be charged.
According to ABC news, several eyewitnesses reported to police that they heard a scuffle, a cry for help, and then a gunshot. One girl was on the phone with Martin the night he was shot and recalls that she had heard Zimmerman was pursing him and then she heard some pushing and the line went dead.
Martin's body was found with nothing but a bag of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea.
"I think the incident is very tragic. It's a shame that a young boy's life had to be taken, when the whole thing could have been prevented anyway. The sad thing is the shooter wasn't even drug tested at the scene. An innocent boy's life was taken away for no reason at all," said Larrissa Le Vasser, a sophomore at Granite.
The Sanford, Florida police took Zimmerman's word that he shot Martin out of self-defense and did not arrest him. According to the Florida state law, a person may not be arrested for shooting someone in self-defense. This law is known as “the stand your ground” law. This law is sponsored by the National Rifle Association.
The police did not do a customary drug or alcohol test or run a background check. One of many petitions for the prosecution of Zimmerman was started in March 16 at a change.org site and at one point was receiving signatures at the rate of 10,000 an hour, states the website.
The Sanford police assured the media that Zimmerman's act was completely out of self-defense and nothing more, but four weeks after the slaying, the Sanford police department admitted that they might have neglected to notice a racist remark that Zimmerman had said to police dispatchers before the shooting.
"It's really unfortunate to see that the police, who are supposed to be local protectors, didn't do much" said Raquel Lopez, junior at Granite Hills.
Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee has temporarily stepped down due to accusations that his department has mishandled the case.
Over 50 schools in Florida staged walk outs in protest against the Sanford police department's decision to not arrest Zimmerman. A hash-tag that trended on Twitter was "#millionhoodiemarch," in which people organized themselves and put on their hoods in remembrance of Martin. When Martin was shot, Zimmerman allegedly said that he seemed suspicious because he had his hoodie on.
The radical group the “New Black Panthers” has put a $10,000 dollar bounty for Zimmerman's "capture.”