The Trayvon Martin Tragedy

BET.com examines the facts behind Trayvon Martin's death.

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Struck by Tragedy - Nearly three weeks ago, the life of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teen, was cut short by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain who fatally shot Martin because he said the teen looked “suspicious” as he walked through a gated neighborhood in Sanford, Florida. The FBI and Department of Justice have launched investigations into the shooting, yet Zimmerman, who has claimed self-defense, continues to walk free. BET.com examines the developing facts surrounding the teen’s tragic murder.—Jonathan P. Hicks and Britt Middleton.  (Photo: UPI/HO/LANDOV)

Bright Future - Trayvon Martin, a high school junior, was described by his teachers as an A and B student who majored in ?cheerfulness.? His parents describe him as a personable young man with lots of friends. He was already looking at colleges, including Florida A&M, Bethune Cookman and the University of Central Florida.  (Photo: Courtesy Fox News)

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Bright Future - Trayvon Martin, a high school junior, was described by his teachers as an A and B student who majored in “cheerfulness.” His parents describe him as a personable young man with lots of friends. He was already looking at colleges, including Florida A&M, Bethune Cookman and the University of Central Florida. (Photo: Courtesy Fox News)

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Tragic End - On the night of Feb. 26, Martin went out to get a snack from a local 7-Eleven. George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain in the gated community of the Retreat at Twin Lakes, spotted Trayvon and called 911, saying the youth looked “suspicious.” (Photo: Courtesy Fox News)

Zimmerman Disobeys Orders - Despite being told by 911 operators not to follow Trayvon, Zimmerman pursues the teen. He initially follows him in a car and later on foot. Armed with a 9-millimeter handgun, Zimmerman fatally shoots Trayvon after a struggle. Trayvon was carrying only a package of Skittles, a can of Arizona iced tea and his cellphone. (Photos form left: Mario Tama/Getty Images, Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images)

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Final Moments - Trayvon’s girlfriend was on the phone with him in the minutes prior to the shooting. She said Trayvon complained that he was being followed by someone. She urged him to run, but he said he would just walk quickly. In interviews, she said that she heard Martin say, "Why are you following me?" and that another man asked, "What are you doing around here?” (Photos from left: Mario Tama/Getty Images,Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images)

Trayvon and Jordan Were Both Unarmed - At the time of his death, Trayvon was carrying only a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles candy, which would become symbolic in public outcry over his death. Authorities found no weapon on Jordan or inside the vehicle he was sitting in. (Photos from left: Courtesy Wikicommons, Skittles.com)

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Zimmerman Defies Police - Zimmerman, 28, ignored the police’s order not to follow Martin and confronted him. By the end of the encounter, Zimmerman had fired his 9 mm handgun, killing the teen who was carrying only an iced tea and a bag of Skittles.  Police have made public 911 recordings between their officials and Zimmerman as well as other callers. In one call from a neighbor, there is the sound of Martin crying for help followed by the sound of a gunshot.(Photos from left: Courtesy Wikicommons, Skittles.com)

911 Call - In a 911 call, Zimmerman describes an unknown male "just walking around looking about" in the rain and tells dispatchers, "This guy looks like he is up to no good or he is on drugs or something." (Photo: Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images)

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Acting Against Protocol - Zimmerman was not a member of a registered neighborhood watch group, according to ABC News. He also violated basic neighborhood watch guidelines by carrying a weapon.  (Photo: Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images)

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A Troubled Past - In the past, Zimmerman had been the subject of complaints from neighbors concerning his aggressive tactics. He had made dozens of calls to police officers in recent months reporting what he deemed as suspicious behavior.  (Photo: FOX NEWS)

Zimmerman Detained, but Not Arrested - When police arrive on the scene after Zimmerman?s 911 call they find Zimmerman standing over Trayvon?s lifeless body. Sanford police take Zimmerman into custody for questioning, but conclude there is not enough evidence to arrest him on murder charges. He tells police he shot Trayvon in self-defense after the teen lunged for his gun. (Photo: AP)

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Dangerous Obession - Neighbors told police Zimmerman was “fixated on crime and focused on young, Black males.” (Photo: Courtesy Fox News)

Legal Issues at Play - The Trayvon Martin case has turned a national spotlight on Florida?s "Stand Your Ground" Law, which allows a person who believes he is in danger to respond with deadly force. Zimmerman claimed that he was acting in self-defense and has not been arrested. The case has been turned over to the Seminole County State Attorney?s Office; a grand jury will convene on April 10.   (Photo: Courtesy Wikicommons)

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Legal Issues at Play - The Trayvon Martin case has turned a national spotlight on Florida’s "Stand Your Ground" Law, which allows a person who believes he is in danger to respond with deadly force. Zimmerman claimed that he was acting in self-defense and has not been arrested. The case has been turned over to the Seminole County State Attorney’s Office; a grand jury will convene on April 10.  (Photo: Courtesy Wikicommons)

Federal Investigations - The FBI and the Department of Justice are also conducting investigations into the shooting. In addition, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the American Civil Liberties Union and other national civil rights organizations have called for Zimmerman?s arrest.   (Photo: Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images)

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Federal Investigations - The FBI and the Department of Justice are also conducting investigations into the shooting. In addition, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the American Civil Liberties Union and other national civil rights organizations have called for Zimmerman’s arrest.  (Photo: Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images)

Targeted for the Color of His Skin - Sybrina Fulton, joined by Trayvon Martin's father Tracy Martin, told The Today Show she believed her son?s killing was racially motivated. ?[Zimmerman] was reacting to the color of his skin. He committed no crime. My son wasn?t doing anything but walking on the sidewalk, and I just don?t understand why this situation got out of control,? she said.   (Photo: NBC)

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Targeted for the Color of His Skin - Sybrina Fulton, joined by Trayvon Martin's father Tracy Martin, told The Today Show she believed her son’s killing was racially motivated. “[Zimmerman] was reacting to the color of his skin. He committed no crime. My son wasn’t doing anything but walking on the sidewalk, and I just don’t understand why this situation got out of control,” she said.  (Photo: NBC)

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Supporters Speak Out - There have been numerous rallies in Florida decrying the death of Martin. In New York, supporters arranged an event on March 21 billed as the “Million Hoodie March for Trayvon Martin,” referring to the hooded sweatshirt Martin was wearing the night he was killed. On a Facebook page, event organizers planned a meet-up in New York City’s Union Square and have asked demonstrators to don hooded sweatshirts in solidarity.  (Photo: Courtesy Facebook)