City: Sanford, FL
Date: Feburary 2012
One of 2012's biggest news stories began on the night of February 26 in Sanford, FL. Trayvon Martin, 17, was returning to his father's home following a trip to 7-Eleven when he encountered 28-year-old George Zimmerman. The self-appointed neighborhood watch leader began following Martin, noting that he looked "suspicious." Zimmerman continued to follow Martin, though he was explicitly told not to by 911 dispatchers. According to Zimmerman, Martin confronted him, breaking his nose with a punch before slamming his head into the concrete. He claims Martin reach for the gun, prompting Zimmerman to shot him. Martin was struck by Zimmerman's bullet in the chest and killed. All the teen had on his person at the time of his murder was an Arizona iced tea and a bag of Skittles.
What happened that night is still unclear, as there only two people who know the full story, and one of them is no longer living. Once the media caught wind of the story, there was national outrage as to why Zimmerman was permitted to remain free for so long, despite the many questions surrounding his story.
He was eventually arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Not long after he posted bail, Zimmerman was ordered back to jail after a Florida court determined that he had lied about his financial situation. He was released once again to a safe house, but ordered to wear a GPS tracking device. Zimmerman is invoking the state's "Stand Your Ground Law," though he told Sean Hannity that he was unaware of the law on the night of the shooting.
The public was split, with some rushing to hang Zimmerman in effigy for profiling and murdering an unarmed teenager, and others attempting to demonize Martin in an order to justify Zimmerman's actions. The truth of the matter is that, for the moment, the worst has already happened: Two parents buried their teenage son.
Zimmerman will stand before a jury in June 2013. Hopefully, all that's in the dark will come to light.