It’s been 11 years since the murder of Trayvon Martin, and we still continue to honor the late teenager’s legacy!
Last night on the season premiere of Sins of the City, we looked deeper into the case that catapulted and sparked the Black Lives Matter Movement.
On February 26th, 2012, unarmed 17-year-old Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman.
In his tragic last moments, Martin was walking back to his father’s home The Retreat at Twin Lakes apartment complex in Sanford, after purchasing a pack of Skittles and an Arizona iced tea from a local convenience store. It was then when Zimmermann, a self-appointed neighborhood watchman, noticed the teen wearing a hoodie and called the police because he thought Martin looked “suspicious” due to his racial prejudice.
In the season premiere of TV One’s Sins of the City, we dove into the moments leading to the cold-hearted murder.
During the episode, fans were exposed to hearing extremely vital facts of the case. We heard evidence of Zimmerman calling the police on different occasions, preceding Trayvon’s incident. He often suspected that certain individuals didn’t belong in the gated community because of his prejudice and would often suspect them of being criminals that were breaking into apartments in the community.
On the night of February 26th, the 911 dispatcher informed Zimmerman that police were on their way and strongly advised him to stop pursuing Martin. But he ignored the dispatcher’s instructions, stepping out of his car and confronting the defenseless teen. As a result, Zimmerman and Martin got into a physical struggle, and Zimmerman fatally shot Martin in the chest, claiming self-defense.
With Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, Zimmerman was not charged.
When Sanford Police Department wasn’t answering any of Fulton’s and Martin’s questions about their child’s murder, they took matters into their own hands making sure that this case wasn’t swept under the rug. They held press conferences every day, sparking what we know now as the Black Lives Matter movement.
As pressure from the nation continued to build, Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder, and manslaughter. During the trial, the topic of race was not to be discussed and the jury consisted of majority white women, who ultimately acquitted Zimmerman of the murder.
Since the acquittal of Zimmerman, Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, rose from the ashes of their son’s death to become social justice activists.
Martin became an anti-gun activist, and Fulton created the Circle of Mothers, an organization that empowers and provides a space of healing mothers who lost their children to gun violence.
To remember Trayvon, Sybrina Fulton, along with Blake Robinson, the actor who portrayed Trayvon, joined a Live Pre-Show conversation on TV One’s Instagram to discuss the gut-wrenching conversation of Black parents losing their children to senseless violence/police brutality.
Sybrina started the vital conversation by expressing her experience of retelling this tragic story of her late son for the episode of Sins of the City, and sharing more of her perspective.
“It felt bittersweet. The bitter part is, I know is the ending of this episode. The sweet part is that people is still in support. People send me messages, you know they comment on our posts that they are standing with me, they’ll never forget Trayvon. And those things matter important to a mother that’s grieving.”
“It’s been 11 years, but the pain never really goes away. And I have been through this before, when we wrote the book, Rest in Power: During the Life of Trayvon Martin, that was with Tracy and I. And when we did the docu-series, that Shawn Carter, which is Jay-Z. You know, I think every time I talk about it, and I try to talk about so much it, I think it’s a part of my healing.”
Although Trayvon isn’t the first child to be murdered in a heinous way at the hands of authority, (i.e. Emmett Till) this case sparked the nation’s interest, especially a young generation, to get involved with social justice.
“I’m just glad that people are interested in tuning in, and they haven’t forgotten who Trayvon Martin was. Because I’m not going to say that it started with Trayvon, but it reignited people to get involved in social justice. And that, I am grateful.”
The conversation didn’t stop there, the young actor also discussed his experience portraying Trayvon Martin.
“I felt very excited, because this is the first time that I get to be on TV, so that’s a very exciting moment for me. And I also felt pretty emotional, because it’s hard having to portray this character because of everything that happened. And Trayvon Martin was the first African American that I knew that died because he was an African American.
He continued, “and that gave my parents the lead way to introduce the “talk,” and you know what it’s like to be Black in America. I also felt really honored as well, because I remember after my parents told me about what it’s like being Black in America, and Trayvon Martin I said that since then I knew I wanted to be an actor. I said that I wanted to play Trayvon Martin.”
If you missed the new season premiere of Sins of the City, and learn how the nation came together to fight for justice, watch the episode anytime on VOD or on the TV One app!
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