Tue, 25 Dec 2012 19:38:47 GMT | By Tenille Bonoguore
Major tragedies of 2012

Trayvon Martin shooting, Feb. 26

Trayvon Martin shooting, Feb. 26. (© Gary W. Green/Reuters)
  • Pain felt in Canada and around the world. (© Odd Andersen/Getty Images; RJ Sangosti, Darrin Zammit, Mark Blinch/Reuters; Handout/The Canadian Press)
  • Battle for Syria. (© Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty)
  • Costa Concordia runs aground, Jan. 13 (© Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)
  • Trayvon Martin shooting, Feb. 26. (© Gary W. Green/Reuters)
  • Civil unrest in Democratic Republic of Congo, April. (© Junior D. Kannah/AFP/Getty Images; James Akena/Reuters)
  • Elliot Lake mall collapses, June 23. (© Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)
  • B.C. mudslides kill four, July 12. (© Jeff McIntosh, Handout/The Canadian Press)
  • Police and a mourner after the shootings. (© Mark Blinch/Reuters)
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He was one teenager shot dead in a country where more than 12,000 people are killed by gun violence every year. But the death of African-American Trayvon Martin in Sandford, Fla., made headlines around the world.

Trayvon, 17, was walking to his father’s house in a gated community carrying a packet of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea. Neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman saw him, called police to report a possible prowler, and then followed him with a gun. What happened next on that evening of Feb. 26 is now before the courts.

Zimmerman told police there was a fight, and he shot Martin in self defence. Police ascertained that was enough, and didn’t press charges. But Martin’s parents said their son was unarmed, and posed no threat to another person. A month after the incident, with still no charges laid, Martin’s parents began fighting for an investigation.

Their fight led to national rallies, comments from U.S. president Barack Obama, debates over the wearing of ‘hoodies’, calls for changes to the personal-defense laws, and finally the opening of an investigation.

Zimmerman is now charged with second-degree murder. The Sanford police chief was fired.

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