In the perplexing and controversial case of <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2012/03/27/how-long-before-we-forget-about-trayvon-martin/"><strong>Trayvon Martin</strong></a>, an unarmed Florida teen who was fatally shot by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, much of the public and media has been in an uproar. Since his death, speculation on the circumstances of that night have led to accusations of racism, discrimination and police misconduct, and caused a global call for justice from not only his family, but celebrities and everyday citizens alike.
As the story still unfolds — and Zimmerman remains uncharged — take a look at nine moments from this national tragedy that have raised eye brows, prompted side eyes and sparked utter outrage. <em>— Janell Hazelwood</em>
1. Immediately after George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., there was no arrest by police and no charges were filed. Also, <em><strong>The Miami Herald</strong></em> reports that police initially wanted to charge Zimmerman—and applied for a warrant—but prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence to move forward with charges.
2. Upon arrival at the morgue, Martin's body was noted as "John Doe." According to reports, no one from the police department immediately contacted family who could immediately identify him, even though they had his cell phone among his belongings. His father, upon not hearing from or seeing him, reported him missing the next day.
3. As Zimmerman becomes arguably one of the most wanted (and hated) men in the U.S.—the New Black Panther Party reportedly <a href="http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2012/03/25/new-black-panther-party-offers-10000-bounty-for-george-zimmerman/" target="_blank"><strong>put out a $10,000 bounty </strong></a>on his head—media outlets begin uncovering details of Zimmerman's racial background, with some specifically labeling him a "white" Hispanic.
4. More details were released that Zimmerman claims he was acting in self-defense and that Martin attacked him. He reportedly told police that he was struck in the nose and head. However, <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/george-zimmerman-police-surveillance-16024475" target="_blank"><strong>surveillance footage from the night Martin was shot</strong></a> shows Zimmerman with no visible injuries on his head or nose.
5. Joe Oliver, a former TV anchor, came forward as a friend and defender of Zimmerman's character, saying he's not a racist, and would not murder a young black man without cause. But after a recent television appearance, he's now <a href="http://video.msnbc.msn.com/msnbc-tv/46881197/#46881197"><strong>being scrutinized as not knowing Zimmerman closely at all </strong></a>and being "only an acquaintance."
6. Veteran talk show host Geraldo Rivera publicly blamed Martin's attire — a hoodie — as a factor in his death. He related the popular sweatshirt style to "thug" attire, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/23/geraldo-rivera-trayvon-martin-hoodie_n_1375080.html" target="_blank"><strong>stating on Fox News</strong></a>, "I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was." (He has since apologized for "the language," adding he doesn't apologize for the "substance" of his advice. "I was trying to save lives.”)
7. Famously outspoken activist and filmmaker Spike Lee, who has publicly expressed outrage at the death of Martin, <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-trayvon-martin-spike-lee-20120329,0,3824027.story" target="_blank"><strong>recently retweeted the home address of </strong></a>Elaine and David McClain, mistakenly noted as Zimmerman's parents. After the tweet, the elderly couple told reporters they were forced to flee for safety. Lee has since apologized, urging the public to "leave the McClains in peace."
8. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) was asked to cease his address and leave the House floor for <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/rep-bobby-rush-dons-hoodie-for-trayvon-martin-145/2012/03/29/gIQAvNuKjS_video.html" target="_blank"><strong>exposing a hoodie under his suit</strong></a> in an act of solidarity in the outrage about Martin's death. The act was deemed against rules, as hoods or hats are prohibited attire. (Reports have stated the dress code rules had not previously been strictly enforced, especially for women, in reference to head gear.)
Rush is a 10-term Democratic congressman from Chicago’s South Side. According to reports, his own son was killed before he turned 30 in a gun homicide.)
9. Entrepreneurs are <a href="http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g_nNMTlVAaNAoISgD5M9xcZp-DGA?docId=28d322f8e01449f2a7f1e022dca7f5dd" target="_blank"><strong>seeking profit from nation's focus on Martin's death</strong></a>, with reports of vendors selling T-shirts, hoodies, key chains and other items with his likeness. (In response, his parents have reportedly sought trademarks and plan to use profits to help other families who have been victims of violence.)