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A Year Later, Community Awaits Justice In Travyon Martin Shooting

Gerardo Mora

One year ago on the evening of February 26, 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin walked out of a 7-Eleven in Sanford, Florida. A resident named George Zimmerman was sitting in his car at the time, and said that Martin looked suspicious, "looking at all the houses" as he walked "leisurely" into a gated community. He called 911 to report the suspicious behavior and then began following Martin on foot. Moments later, the two scuffled and Zimmerman shot Martin once in the chest, killing him. 

Days later, the story was propelled into the national spotlight, and raised questions about Florida's State Your Ground laws and the racial politics involved in the shooting. 

Since then, Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder and is currently out on $1 million bond. A judge announced earlier this month that jury selection in the trial will begin on June 10, 2013. 

Despite the national outrage at the time, little has changed in the Florida legislature regarding the state's so-called "stand your ground" laws. However, the recent shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut has given new momentum to possible dialogue on the larger issue of gun safety in the state.

WLRN reporter Phil Latzman explains where the trial of George Zimmerman currently stands and the legislative decisions by Florida lawmakers since the shooting. Valerie Houston is a pastor at the Allen Chapel AME Church in Sanford, Florida about how the community has moved forward in the year since.

This story first appeared on The Takeaway.