America Reacts To the Innocent Killing Of Trayvon Martin [Full Story + Videos Inside] **UPDATE** President Obama Comments 'If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon..."

LATimes writes:

Trayvon Martin, is a black teenager who was shot by a neighborhood watch officer, George Zimmerman, last month. For those just catching up to the case that has galvanized the nation -- raising legal and social issues about race, guns and self-defense -- here's some background.

What do we know?

The first phase of the case happened the night of Feb. 26.

Martin, 17, was walking back to his father’s house in a gated community in Sanford, a suburb of Orlando, Fla. He had bought a package of Skittles and an iced tea from a convenience store in the city of about 53,000 residents. A majority of the city's residents are white; just under a third are black.

Zimmerman, 28, was patrolling the neighborhood when he saw Martin. He called police to report his suspicions and then followed the teenager, though police recordings quote the dispatcher as saying he should stay away.

Moments later, Zimmerman -- identified as a Latino by his family, and as white by critics of the subsequent investigation -- was in a confrontation with Martin, ultimately shooting the unarmed teenager once, killing him.

What happened next?

The controversy begins with the second phase -- the aftermath of the shooting.

Local police responded to the incident and questioned Zimmerman; authorities did medical tests on the dead teenager but not on Zimmerman.

According to various reports, police say Zimmerman told them he chased Martin but gave up and was returning to his truck when the teenager attacked him. Police say Zimmerman had blood on the back of his head.

Zimmerman, who is claiming self-defense, was released and has not been charged in the shooting.

What is the family’s position?

The family, backed by national and local civil rights leaders, say that Martin was in danger -- as is any other African American teenager out alone after dark, they add. Because of his race, Martin immediately appeared suspicious to a white person on patrol, especially one whose training was far less than that received by professional police.

Further, the family insists, if a black officer had shot a white teen, he would have been charged and held -- and drug and alcohol tests would have been carried out on the officer and not just the victim, who in this case was drug-free.

“They are making it look like Zimmerman is the victim,” Benjamin Crump, attorney for Martin's parents said of the police, according to several media interviews. “And their son is in the grave. It's about equal justice.”

What is the local police position?

Police insist they investigated and let Zimmerman go because officers were “prohibited from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time,” including the physical evidence.

“The Sanford Police Department has conducted a complete and fair investigation of this incident,” police chief Bill Lee said in a prepared statement.

What happens next is up to prosecutors who have convened a grand jury for April 10.
Actual Full 911 Call

Trayvon's Parents Speak to Anderson Cooper

CNN Looks At The Case

Thousands turn out in NYC for ‘Million Hoodie March’ to demand justice for Trayvon Martin

The peaceful protest was organized by black and white college students, many wearing grey hoodies to symbolize the racist stereotyping that led to the death of Miami teenager Trayvon Martin. [Source: SandraRose]

R.I.P. Trayvon Martin!!!

Obama: 'If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon'

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Comment by Bad Habits on March 22, 2012 at 9:38pm
@dee what the f*** are u talking about take justice into ur own hands??? That's exactly why this world is so f***** up with idiots like you thinking u can just do what u want whenever!!! The dude who killed the kid should be charged with something his story is obv b*******. Race race race that's all u idiots talk about anymore
Comment by Lee Davis on March 22, 2012 at 9:30pm
"Because of his race, Martin immediately appeared suspicious to a white person on patrol,"-- real talk if he was walking down the street of my nice middle class black community he would've looked suspicious too. If you are young, black, male (and not in a suit) you are profiled by everybody. Period.

Beyond that- the guy is going to jail. If the gun went off accidentally or purposefully he had no reason to be there at the time. If he had kept his butt in the house the kid would be alive today. He'll get manslaughter. Murder 1 is not happening and murder 2 will be hard to prove.
Comment by dee on March 22, 2012 at 8:55pm
why no blacks in florida killed this zimmerman guy yet.they should of been have went into this guy home & dragged him out.when it come 2 sh!t like this,u dont wait on police justice.u take justice into your own hands.a white/mexican muthafuka shouldnt even think he could kill a black teen.where all the goons & gangstas plies & trick daddy rap about
Comment by dee on March 22, 2012 at 8:54pm
why obama havent spoke up on this?im not supporting no black celeb that dont step up 4 this.they got voices.use it.all the black celebs should come together on this & all black sin the streets should come together in streets.
Comment by top 3 = Ross/Banks/Kiss on March 22, 2012 at 8:52pm
seriously man, the patrol guy sounds like he was trigger happy and was just looking for any excuse to use his weapon on an innocent young man !!! that was a perfect example of profiling like his dad says and I agree 100% .
Comment by JayemDeuces on March 22, 2012 at 8:50pm
This really is a shame, but the dude aint even white. This ain't a black white thing, its just really sad that a young man is dead for no reason. But making this racial is quite pathetic, black adults kill black kids all the time, fact.
Comment by paul on March 22, 2012 at 8:15pm
Trayvon and his family deserve justice. This Zimmeran f***** is racist or has a very high opinion of himself and a very low opinion of black people. I already signed the petition as well. An innocent unarmed 17year old kid walks down the street and gets shot by a wannabe racist vigilante who can't even follow simple directions.
Comment by BIGTIME on March 22, 2012 at 8:01pm
this world works better when blacks and whites work together!!!!!
Comment by lakecthia on March 22, 2012 at 7:45pm
This story is so sad. I pray 4 justice for trayvon.
Comment by Foolish B on March 22, 2012 at 7:43pm
its always good to see white people and black people standing together when a terrible injustice has been committed

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