Today marks exactly 1 year since 17-year-old high school student Trayvon Martin was senselessly gunned down by self-appointed neighborhood watchdog George Zimmerman during an altercation that began when Zimmerman approached Trayvon on his way home from the store because the teen was wearing a hoodie and “looked suspicious.”
via USA Today
Robert Zimmerman wears bullet-proof vests when he goes outside his house. He doesn’t greet neighbors or look grocery store cashiers in the eye. Once, angry customers at Starbucks confronted him over one of the nation’s most controversial cases.
Zimmerman is not a suspect, but his brother, George, is the man accused of murdering Trayvon Martin a year ago today. Like Trayvon’s family, Zimmerman’s family has been forever changed since the night Trayvon, a teenager who prosecutors say was racially profiled, was shot dead in a dark Florida subdivision.
Amid plans for a vigil in memory of Trayvon tonight in New York City, the families of George Zimmerman and Trayvon are speaking as publicly about the case as ever.
Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, 46, continues to be haunted by the moment he identified his son’s dead body. For him, Feb. 26, the day of the shooting, and Feb. 27, the morning he identified his son, mark the worst days of his life.
“I just want to erase those two days,” he said. “No healing has been one inside my heart.”
Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, has spent the year trying to heal and working with other families whose children have been killed. She tells parents about her experience and lobbies for changes in “stand your ground” laws across the country.
“The first six months, we were crying a lot,” Fulton said. “But we can’t continue having our kids die for no reason. We have to come up with some plan to stop this violence. I don’t know if it’s gun control or educating people with guns.”
Tonight, Martin and Fulton will hold a “Million Hoodies Candlelight Vigil for Trayvon Martin,” in Union Square at 6 p.m.
We sincerely hope that the Martin and Fulton families will finally see justice served in 2013.