February 5, 1995
February 26, 2012
Age at Death:
Mr. Martin was born in Miami, Florida, surrounded by a family, hard working family. His parents are Sybrina Fulton & Tracy Martin. Mr. Martin attended both Norland Middle School & Highland Oaks Middle School (north Miami-Dade County). He attended Miami Carol City High School in Miami Gardens for his first two years. At the time of the shooting, Mr. Martin was a junior at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School in north Miami-Dade. Mr. Martin is described as a kind and loving person. When Mr. Martin was nine years old, he saved his father's life by pulling his father, who had been immobilized by burns to the legs, out of a fire in their apartment. Mr. Martin enjoyed playing football, playing sports video games and was hard working (washed cars, babysat, and cut grass). Mr. Martin's former football coach said Mr. Martin had been one of the best players on their football team (The Wolverines) that played at Forzano Park in Miramar, Florida. Mr. Martin played for the Wolverines from age 8 to 13. He had played football at the park since he was five years old and his team was coached in part, by his father. During his years in high school, Mr. Martin volunteered at Forzano Park, working in the concession stand, sometimes staying until 8 or 9 p.m., before going home. Mr. Martin's former football coach said he was a shy child and always walked with his hoodie and headphones on listening to music. He had a goal of being in aviation, volunteering in various ways in aviation and studying aerospace.
Mr. Martin has substantially contributed towards the Black Lives Matter movement, because he was unarmed and fatally shot by a 28-year-old "community watchman." Mr. Martin had gone with his father on a visit to his father's fiancée at her townhouse. On the evening of his death, Mr. Martin was walking back to the fiancée's house from a nearby convenience store. The shooter was a member of the community watch, saw Mr. Martin and reported him to the Sanford Police as "suspicious." Minutes later, there was an altercation and the community watchman fatally shot Martin in the chest. The shooter was injured during the altercation with Mr. Martin. He said he shot Martin in self-defense and was not charged at the time. The name "Trayvon" became synonymous with "youth civil rights." Note: on May 13, 2017, Mr. Martin posthumously received a bachelor's degree in aeronautical science from Florida Memorial University "in honor of the steps he took during his young life toward becoming a pilot."
Was justice served?
No. Trayvon Martin was unarmed when he was shot dead. The entire defense of the shooter was to shoot Mr. Martin before he was shot even though Mr. Martin did not have a weapon. The police said there was no evidence to refute the shooter's claim of self-defense, and Florida's "stand your ground law" prohibited them from arresting or charging him. After national media focused on the incident, the shooter was eventually charged and tried, but a jury acquitted him of second-degree murder and manslaughter in July 2013.