Racialization in Modern Society: Trayvon Martin

A Chronological Recap in the events surrounding Trayvon Martin's Death


  1. Living in a modern, democratic society, often times citizens forget that racialized tensions and struggles still exist within the environment we live in. Trayvon Martin's case is a specific example of this notion, and is a clear reminder to citizens that ethnic tensions are not to be margainalized in modern society. In this piece, I will present a chronological summary of the events surrounding this hightened controversy of Trayvon Martin's unjust death.
  2. Context:
  3. Trayvon Martin (born February 5,1995) is an African-American student attending Krop Senior High School living in Miami Gardens, Florida with his mother. Following a 10-day suspension after finding remnants of illegal drugs, Martin is sent to live temporarily with his father.
  4. George Zimmerman (born October 5, 1983) is a Hispanic-American man who was attending Seminole State College. Zimmerman was married to Shellie Zimmerman and a father of two kids - Robert and Gladys. At the time of the shooting, Zimmerman was the neighborhood watch captain at the Retreat at Twin Lakes, a gated community.
  5. Chronology of Events:
  6. 02/26/2012: Police receive a 911 call from Zimmerman at 7:12 PM, who identifies a young black teenager who looks like "he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around."
  7. 911 dispatcher asks if Zimmerman is following the boy, to which Zimmerman responds, "yes." Dispatcher replies, "Ok. We don't need you to do that." - a suggestion Zimmerman completely ignores.
  8. Trayvon Martin shooting, minute by minute
  9. After moments of commotion, witnesses describe hearing clear noises of gunshots being fired.
  10. 7:30 P.M., after police and ambulances arrive, Trayvon Martin is pronounced dead, with Zimmerman having received visible injuries on his nose and head.
  11. 03/12/2012: 3 days after receiving medical reports of Zimmerman's injuries, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee states that Zimmerman cannot be charged due to lack of evidence disproving Zimmerman's claim of having shot Martin simply out of self-defense.
  12. 03/13/2012: Christopher Serino - homicide detective of Sanford Police - recommends Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter. Serino asserts Zimmerman's head injuries were "marginally consistent with a life-threatening episode ... during which neither a deadly weapon nor deadly force were deployed by Trayvon Martin."
  13. 03/15/2012: Robert Zimmerman (George Zimmerman's father) writes to the Orlando Sentinel that George has been unfairly portrayed as a racist, and that George is Hispanic and grew up in a multiracial family
  14. 03/19/2012: FBI and the Justice Department formally announce that the two parties have begun investigation into the killing of Trayvon Martin.
  15. 03/20/2012: Benjamin Crump - lawyer for the Martin family - conducts a press conference, informing that during the altercation, Martin was in a phone call with his girlfriend, a 16 year old girl who remained anonymous. Martin's girlfriend told that she during the call, someone asked Martin what he was doing, with Martin replying why the person was following him. The girl consequently inferred that a physical quarrel was happening, as the phone call was cut.
  16. President Obama Speaks on Trayvon Martin
  17. 03/23/2012: U.S. President Barack Obama calls for a press conference, in which he sends his condolescences to the Martin family. In it, Obama explicitly addresses the racialized context and experiences the African-American community has perserved through, stating that "those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets" the events surrounding Martin.
  18. "Made You Die" Trayvon Martin Tribute.