On Feb. 26, an unarmed black teenager wearing a hooded sweat shirt was shot at close range on the streets of a gated community in central Florida. Trayvon Martin, 17, had been on a visit to the home of his father’s fiancee when George Zimmerman, a member of the community’s neighborhood watch, confronted the boy for alleged suspicious behavior — Martin suffered a mortal gunshot wound in the ensuing altercation. Police didn’t initially arrest Zimmerman, believing that he had acted in self-defense. But the killing touched a painful nerve of American racial politics, and a national firestorm ensued. The innocuous hoodie became a viral meme, a garment of solidarity, anger and mourning. As more and more conflicting evidence emerged, Florida prosecutors finally charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder. The case is to be heard next year.
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