On February 26, 2012, on his way home, Trayvon Martin, a black unarmed teenager, was shot by George Zimmerman, who was on watch in his Sandford neighbourhood. Invoking self-defence, Zimmermann was not arrested, which caused an outcry. He would only be arrested six weeks later, before being accused of unpremeditated murder.

“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”- Barack Obama

© Roberto Gonzales/Getty Images

Thousands of protestors march through the streets in support of slain teenager Trayvon Martin on March 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida. (Sanford, Floride, 26 mars 2012)

National debate, racial divide
Is George Zimmerman guilty of a crime?
  Blacks Nonblacks
Definitely guilty 51 % 11 %
Probably guilty 21 % 21 %
Definitely / Probably not guilty 1 % 7 %
Unclear from available information/No opinion 27 % 61 %
Would Zimmerman have been arrested if the person he shot was white, or do you think Martin's race did not make a difference?
  Blacks Nonblacks
Would have been arrested 73 % 35 %
Martin's race did not make a difference 20 % 49 %
No opinion 8 % 16 %
Source : USA Today/Gallup poll, published in April 2012
Learn more
  • Trayvon Martin Shooting The tragic fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black American teenager, last month has led to nation wide protests and brought to the surface troubling questions about racism in the United States.
  • Trayvn Martin Shooting Outrage US President Barack Obama struck a very personal tone when speaking about the tragic death of Florida teenage Trayvon Martin.