TRAYVON MARTIN TIMELINE MSNBC Feb. 26, 2012: Fatal shooting Trayvon Martin, 17, is shot and killed while walking through a Sanford, Fla., community where he is visiting family. Neighbors call police to report hearing a scuffle and a gunshot. Martin is found dead by police. George Zimmerman, neighborhood watch captain, is taken to the Sanford Police Department for questioning about the shooting, which he says was in self-defense. No charges are filed and he is not arrested.
March 19: Investigation launched March 16: 911 tapes released Martin’s parents gain access to 911 calls made to police on the evening of the shooting and portions of those tapes are made public. One recording indicates that Zimmerman says he is following Martin and a dispatcher tells him that's not necessary. In another, there are audible cries for help in the background. Martin's family demands an arrest and petitions calling for the same gain tens of thousands of signatures within a matter of hours.
The U.S. Justice Department announces it has launched an investigation into the shooting.
March 21: Million hoodie march Martin’s parents join hundreds of protesters in New York City demanding justice in what is dubbed the "Million Hoodie March," a tribute to Martin, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt at the time of his death. It is the first of what will become large protests across the country.
March 22: Police chief steps aside Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee announces he will step down "temporarily" amid accusations that he has mishandled the Martin case and after a vote of no confidence by city commissioners. Thousands of people join a rally in Sanford organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton demanding Zimmerman’s arrest. (Sharpton is a host on the msnbc cable television show Politics Nation.)
March 23: White House mention President Barack Obama raises the Martin case at the end of a White House press conference in which he names Jim Yong Kim as his nominee for the World Bank president. In response to a reporter's question about the case, Obama says: "If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon."
March 24: Threats against Zimmerman At a protest in Florida, leader of the New Black Panther Party Mikhail Muhammad announces a $10,000 bounty for the capture of Zimmerman, who is in hiding.
April 10: Lawyers quit Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig, lawyers for Zimmerman, announce they will no longer represent him because he has stopped communicating with them.
April 11: Charges pending A law enforcement official tells NBC that the Florida prosecutor will file criminal charges against Zimmerman. Less than an hour before those charges are made public, George Zimmerman is reported to be in police custody.
Benjamin Todd Jealous, President & CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of
Benjamin Todd Jealous, President & CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People issued the following statement on the charges filed against George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin:
“Forty five days after Trayvon Martin’s life came to a violent end, the wheels of justice have finally begun to turn. This is an important first step toward bringing justice for Trayvon and his family.
As we have seen, the system does not always work perfectly. But we have shown that when we stand together as a nation we can compel it to work. For the NAACP, this case has always been about the rule of law. We are encouraged by today’s charges, but we know that this is just the beginning. We anticipate and expect a thorough federal investigation of the Sanford Police Department and their role in exacerbating this tragedy.
Trayvon’s case moved the nation because it underscored the twin tragedies that affect so many of our young people: Trayvon was profiled because of his race—looked upon as a threat rather than the loving son he was. And then, once he became a victim, he was neglected by the very police department tasked with protecting our communities and families. As a nation, we’ve got to address the issues of racial profiling and the valuation of black men's lives by law enforcement. In the months ahead the NAACP and our allies in the civil rights community will continue to take these issues on as well as the urgent need to repeal stand your ground laws.
Tonight our thoughts and prayers are with Trayvon’s family. We are grateful for the courage and tenacity of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin that continue to help shape a national movement for justice for their son and for all of America’s children.”