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Not Paying Tribute to Trayvon Martin Doesn't Make You Racist

Posted: 07/24/2013 8:30 am

Rachel Décoste, one of my fellow Huffington Post bloggers, generally writes very thoughtful, perceptive and insightful columns for Huffington Post.

The fact that I rarely agree with her points of view is quite irrelevant. I enjoy her style and passion. And I always look forward to reading her opinions.

But I have to take issue with her recent Huffington Post blog, "Racism is Front Page News at the Ottawa Sun," because she unfairly labels the Ottawa Sun's handling of Trayvon Martin's death as racist.

In her article, Décoste says, "In the Sunday edition of the Ottawa Sun, the juxtaposition between the untimely death of two young men and the dismissive commentary on Trayvon Martin serve as yet another example of inequality in our multicultural society."

Décoste alleges that the Ottawa Sun paid tribute to the deaths of two young Canadian white men (both who died accidentally of drug overdoses) while they denounced the worldwide tribute to the death of an unarmed Trayvon Martin (a young American black man), who died as a result of being shot by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed community security guard, in Florida.

This seems like a pretty damning indictment against our Canadian multicultural society.

Fortunately, for Canada, and unfortunately for Décoste, the evidence she cites does not support this rather sweeping conclusion.

Let us look at the meagre evidence upon which Décoste bases her argument.

Blog continues after slideshow

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  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 20: Protesters take part in a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside Los Angeles Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, United States. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 20: Protesters take part in a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside Los Angeles Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, United States. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 20: Protesters take part in a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside Los Angeles Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, United States. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 20: Protesters take part in a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside Los Angeles Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, United States. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 20: A woman holding a can of ice tea and bag of Skittles candy and hundreds of protesters take part in a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside Los Angeles Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, United States. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 20: Protesters take part in a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside Los Angeles Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, United States. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 20: Mimi Kennedy holding a sign along with hundreds of protesters take part in a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside Los Angeles Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, United States. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Protesters take part in a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Protesters take part in a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: A chalk outline, a bag of Skittles, and a can of iced tea are seen during a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 20: Protesters take part in a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside Los Angeles Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, United States. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 20: Theo Hornbacher, 14, (C) and his brother Noah Hornbacher, 11, (R) along with hundreds of protesters take part in a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside Los Angeles Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, United States. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    CHICAGO, IL - JULY 20: Demonstrators attend a 'Justice For Trayvon' rally at Federal Plaza in the Loop July 20, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The rally was one of a scheduled 100 to be held in cities across the country today to protest a Florida jury's decision last week to find neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman not guilty of murder in the February 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 20: Protesters take part in a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside Los Angeles Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, United States. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    CHICAGO, IL - JULY 20: Five-year-old Liberty Cunningham holds a poster of Trayvon Martin as she sits on her father's shoulders during a 'Justice For Trayvon' rally July 20, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The rally was one of a scheduled 100 to be held in cities across the country today to protest a Florida jury's decision last week to find neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman not guilty of murder in the February 2012 shooting death of seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    CHICAGO, IL - JULY 20: Five-year-old Liberty Cunningham holds a poster of Trayvon Martin as she sits on the shoulders of her father Travis during a 'Justice For Trayvon' rally July 20, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The rally was one of a scheduled 100 to be held in cities across the country today to protest a Florida jury's decision last week to find neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman not guilty of murder in the February 2012 shooting death of seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    CHICAGO, IL - JULY 20: Demonstrators attend a 'Justice For Trayvon' rally at Federal Plaza in the Loop July 20, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The rally was one of a scheduled 100 to be held in cities across the country today to protest a Florida jury's decision last week to find neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman not guilty of murder in the February 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    CHICAGO, IL - JULY 20: Demonstrators attend a 'Justice For Trayvon' rally at Federal Plaza in the Loop July 20, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The rally was one of a scheduled 100 to be held in cities across the country today to protest a Florida jury's decision last week to find neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman not guilty of murder in the February 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Protesters take part in a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Protesters take part in a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • "Justice For Trayvon" Rallies Held Across The Country

    WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: A woman wipes away a tear as protersters take part in a 'Justice for Trayvon' vigil outside the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse July 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. The vigil, along with others held nationwide, was organized by the National Action Network and called for federal charges to be filed against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Decoste cites as one example the fact that "the Ottawa Sun features an article about a 'tribute' to a heroin addict. Canadian-born actor Corey Monteith, famous for his role on the TV show Glee, suffered a drug overdose in a Vancouver hotel last week."

Décoste's use of this example in which to criticize the Ottawa Sun for its alleged "racism," fails for the following reasons.

First, the actual article she cites, called "Glee to Memorialize Monteith in "Tribute" Episode," is the straight reporting in the Entertainment section of the Ottawa Sun. The article reports on how the popular television show "Glee" will be responding to the untimely death of one of its stars, Corey Monteith, with a special tribute show, dealing with his recent death.

The Ottawa Sun is not paying tribute to the death of Monteith, as opposed to the death of Trayvon Martin. It is just reporting in its Entertainment Section on a "tribute" show to be performed on the popular "Glee" show. The article is in the entertainment section -- not in the political or editorial/opinion sections of the Ottawa Sun.

The content of this entertainment report (of which similar content has been circulated in most North American newspapers) cannot and should not be used as an example that allegedly reflects the Ottawa Sun's alleged racist or discriminatory view towards black people.

How does this objective reporting on a "tribute show" relate to the Ottawa Sun's alleged dismissive treatment of Trayvon Martin's death? It doesn't.

Décoste is comparing apples to oranges, straight objective reporting to opinion pieces.

She is alleging double standards that do not exist.

The second Ottawa Sun article Décoste cites as indicative of the Ottawa Sun's unequal treatment of black people is titled, "Vicious Drug Cycle Haunts Ottawa Family."

In this case, Décoste incorrectly alleges that the Ottawa Sun is once again paying tribute to the death of a young white man who accidentally dies from a drug overdose.

In fact, the Ottawa Sun is neither paying tribute or honoring the death of this unfortunate young Ottawa man.

This article rather sadly tells the story of a young man, Nick Cody, 18, whose father died of a drug overdose when Nick was just nine months old. Although Nick vowed to break the cycle, he too became addicted to drugs at the age of 15. And though he went to rehab last year, once out of rehab, Nick reverted to doing drugs again. Which led to his demise.

Once again, this article is not evidence of the Ottawa Sun's preference for honoring young white men over the black Trayvon Martin.

It is interesting to note that though Décoste argues that the Ottawa Sun is guilty of publishing an editorial about the Zimmerman case which denounces worldwide tributes to Trayvon Martin, including President Obama's remarks on this matter, she does not provide a link to this crucial article to support her claim.

I am not sure if that was inadvertent or intentional.

But I invite you to look at this very thoughtful and nuanced opinion piece by John Robson Parliamentary bureau reporter, (which is not an Ottawa Sun editorial, but an opinion piece by one columnist) entitled "Why Honour Trayvon Martin?"

The writer legitimately questions why the Trayvon Martin/Zimmerman case has been looked upon as some historic event in American race relations. He also questions how the media and the American black community has come to see this case as representative of America's still troubled black/white divide in American society today.

Robson points out that "George Zimmerman is not America's racial history. He's just one guy unlikely, without this incident, to have achieved distinction of any sort. He's certainly not Birmingham's infamous 1960s white supremacist Public Safety Commissioner Bull Connor risen from the grave. Zimmerman's not even white. He's Hispanic."

In other words, he is also non-white as his mother is Peruvian.

In fact, Zimmerman was raised in a racially integrated household and he has black roots through an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather -- the father of the maternal grandmother who helped raise him.

In addition, Zimmerman's gated community is not an exclusive white enclave, but is inhabited by a diverse multicultural community including Afro-Americans as neighbors.

Similarly, as the Ottawa Sun writer Robson points out, "Trayvon Martin was just one person. He wasn't black America. He wasn't Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. II or Kunta Kinte. He certainly wasn't Barack Obama 35 years ago, as the president just irresponsibly suggested. He was one more teenager acting tough but in his case the game got way too real."

Robson also argues:

"Martin may once have been a sweet kid. Had he not tried to kill Zimmerman on Feb. 26, 2012 he might one day have become an admirable adult. But as a teen he was in the grip of a highly dysfunctional rap-hip-hop-ghetto chic culture too prevalent in black America.


His twitter handle was NO_LIMIT_NIGGA, for goodness sake. Some limits on his temper might have saved his life last February.

Instead of pointing this out, the president (Obama) initially spoke of how to 'honour' Martin. Excuse me?

I'm sorry he got himself shot. But the evidence strongly suggests he was on top of Zimmerman trying to bash his brains out on a cement pavement when Zimmerman fired in self-defence. I didn't know we honoured things like that."

As noted above, the Ottawa Sun did not pay tribute or honor the deaths of two young white men. Nor did the Ottawa Sun denounce the worldwide tribute to Trayvon Martin, although one Ottawa Sun columnist, Robson, did legitimately call into question the assumptions underlying the tributes being bestowed on Trayvon Martin.

There is no evidence that the Ottawa Sun acted in a racist manner and prejudicial manner. And there is no evidence that as a result of such treatment of the Martin matter, the Ottawa Sun is perpetuating inequality in our Canadian society.

Unfortunately, by playing the "race" card in her article -- based on no evidence of discrimination or inequality -- Rachel Décoste trivialized the real issue of racism in our society and undermines the very cause that she is advocating.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>Feb. 19, 2012</strong> -- Trayvon Martin, 17, and Tracy, his father, travel from Miami Gardens to Sanford, Fla., to visit the elder Martin's fiancee in her townhome at The Retreat at Twin Lakes. <em>Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.globalgrind.com" target="_blank">globalgrind.com</a></em>

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>Feb. 26, 2012</strong> -- Trayvon Martin is walking to the home of his father's fiancee after purchasing items from a 7-Eleven store in Sanford. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, spots Martin at approximately 7 p.m. and calls police. "We've had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there's a real suspicious guy," Zimmerman tells police.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>Feb. 26, 2012</strong> -- Roughly seven minutes after Zimmerman's call to police, authorities receive a 911 call from an individual reporting a fight. During the call, the dispatcher hears a gunshot in the background and sends police units to the location. Responding officers discover that Martin has been shot in the chest. The teen is unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene. Police find no identification on Martin and label him a John Doe.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>Feb. 26, 2012</strong> -- Questioned by police, Zimmerman informs them that Martin attacked him and he fired his gun in self-defense. Authorities confiscate Zimmerman's 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and take him to the Sanford Police Department for further questioning.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>Feb. 27, 2012</strong> -- Following a lengthy interview, George Zimmerman is released from the police station at approximately 1 a.m. Hours later, Tracy Martin contacts police to report his son missing. Investigators soon connect the dots and inform the elder Martin of his son's death. After receiving treatment from a family doctor, Zimmerman meets with investigators and reenacts the events of the shooting at the crime scene.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 8, 2012</strong> -- Tracy Martin holds a press conference, during which he criticizes the investigation into his son's slaying. "We feel justice hasn't been served," Martin tells reporters.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 9, 2012</strong> -- Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump tells the Miami Herald he is filing a lawsuit for the release of public records in the case.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 10, 2012</strong> -- Members of the New Black Panther Party, contending there has been a "miscarriage of justice," rally outside the Sanford Police Department.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 12, 2012</strong> -- Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee holds a press conference, at which he claims that investigators were unable to arrest Zimmerman because he was protected by Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows residents to shoot someone if they reasonably believe they are being threatened. "There is no evidence to dispute Zimmerman's assertion that he shot Martin out of self-defense," Lee says. In response, Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, post a petition on the Change.org website calling for State Attorney Angela Corey to prosecute Zimmerman. The petition quickly garners support from multiple celebrities and receives nearly 900,000 signatures the first week.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 13, 2012</strong> -- In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the NAACP expresses doubt in the Sanford Police Department's ability to appropriately handle the investigation, asking the Department of Justice to review the case. "The NAACP has no confidence that, absent federal oversight, the Sanford Police Department will devote the necessary degree of care to its investigation," the letter says. Sanford police announce the completion of their investigation and turn the case over to the State Attorney's Office for Brevard and Seminole Counties. "Trayvon Martin and his family, interested persons, and the public-at-large are entitled to no less than a thorough, deliberate and just review of the information provided, along with any other evidence that may or may not be developed in the course of the review process," State Attorney Norm Wolfinger's office says in a statement.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 14, 2012</strong> -- Mary Cutcher, a woman listed in police reports as a witness who heard Martin's shooting, <a href="http://www.wftv.com/news/news/witness-sanford-police-blew-us-teen-slaying/nLSqk/" target="_blank">tells WFTV.com that police took only a short statement from her</a> following the shooting. "[The police] blew us off, and I called back again and I said, 'I know this was not self-defense. There was no punching, no hitting going on at the time, no wrestling,'" says Cutcher.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 15, 2012</strong> -- Sanford police issue a statement calling Mary Cutcher's TV interviews "inconsistent" with her sworn testimony. Meanwhile, Zimmerman's father, Robert, tells the Orlando Sentinel that his son has been unfairly portrayed as a racist.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 16, 2012</strong> -- Sanford police release eight 911 recordings in the case. One of the recordings includes a voice in the background screaming, "Help, help!" The screams are followed by the sound of a gunshot.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 19, 2012</strong> -- The Justice Department and the FBI announce they have opened an investigation into the shooting.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 20, 2012</strong> -- State Attorney Norm Wolfinger announces that a Seminole County, Fla., grand jury will review the circumstances of Martin's death.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 21, 2012</strong> -- The Sanford City Commission votes "no confidence" in Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee and calls for his resignation.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 22, 2012</strong> -- Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee holds a press conference and announces he is temporarily stepping down as police chief because his presence is a "distraction." State Attorney Norm Wolfinger recuses himself from the case and Florida Gov. Rick Scott announces that another state attorney, Jacksonville-based Angela Corey, will be replacing Wolfinger as special prosecutor in the investigation. Meanwhile, Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III and other civil rights leaders and politicians hold a justice rally at Sanford's Fort Mellon Park. They demand an arrest in Martin's shooting. An estimated 10,000 people attend the event.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 23, 2012</strong> -- President Barack Obama tells reporters that the nation needs to do some "soul-searching to figure out how something like this happens." He adds, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 24, 2012</strong> -- Members of the New Black Panther Party offer a $10,000 reward for the "capture" of Zimmerman.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 25, 2012</strong> -- Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks in Eatonville and encourages revisions to Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. "If it's a moment, we go home. If it's a movement, we go to war," says Jackson.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 26, 2012</strong> -- Police release new details of the investigation, saying Zimmerman told them Martin punched him and slammed his head into the sidewalk several times. Acting Police Chief Darren Scott takes over as chief of the Sanford Police Department. Thousands of people gather in Sanford to mark one month since Martin was killed.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 29, 2012</strong> -- Zimmerman's brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., tells CNN that medical records will prove his brother was attacked and his nose was broken.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>April 3, 2012</strong> -- Florida State Sen. Chris Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale) announces the formation of a task force to review the state's "Stand Your Ground" law.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>April 8, 2012</strong> -- George Zimmerman launches the website "The Real George Zimmerman" to raise money for his defense.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>April 9, 2012</strong> -- State Attorney Angela Corey announces her decision not to use a grand jury in the Martin investigation. The move eliminates the possibility of a first-degree murder charge.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>April 10, 2012</strong> -- Zimmerman's attorneys, Hal Uhrig (right) and Craig Sonner, announce that they will no longer be representing him.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>April 11, 2012</strong> - State Attorney Angela Corey announces the charging of George Zimmerman with second-degree murder. Zimmerman turns himself in to police and is booked into the Seminole County Jail. Mark O'Mara announces his role as Zimmerman's new attorney.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>April 23, 2012</strong> -- George Zimmerman's new lawyer, Mark O'Mara, enters a not-guilty plea on his client's behalf. Zimmerman is released from jail on a $150,000 bond. Per the conditions of his release, Zimmerman is required to wear a GPS monitoring device.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>April 24, 2012</strong> -- George Zimmerman shuts down his website. According to his attorney, the site raised $200,000.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>April 27, 2012</strong> -- Mark O'Mara launches the website GZLegalCase.com as the official site for Zimmerman's legal case.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>May 8, 2012</strong> -- At Zimmerman's arraignment, Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. accepts his not-guilty plea.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>May 17, 2012</strong> -- Prosecutors release police reports, witness statements, surveillance videos and other evidence in the case.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>June 1, 2012</strong> -- Judge Lester revokes Zimmerman's bond, stating that his ruling is based on concerns that Zimmerman and his wife did not fully disclose their finances at the bond hearing.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>June 3, 2012</strong> -- Zimmerman is returned to jail.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>June 12, 2012</strong> -- George Zimmerman's wife, Shellie, is arrested on one count of perjury.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>June 20, 2012</strong> -- The Sanford city manager fires Bill Lee from the police force.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>June 21, 2012</strong> -- George Zimmerman's legal team releases discovery evidence on their client's website.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>June 29, 2012</strong> -- Zimmerman's second bond hearing is held. The judge does not immediately issue a ruling.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>July 5, 2012</strong> -- Judge Lester grants Zimmerman a higher bond of $1 million.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>July 6, 2012</strong> -- Zimmerman is again released from jail.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>July 19, 2012</strong> -- George Zimmerman relaunches his personal website.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>July 27, 2012</strong> -- George Zimmerman's wife pleads not guilty to perjury.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>Aug. 29, 2012</strong> -- An appeals court grants a request by George Zimmerman's defense team to dismiss Judge Lester from the case.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>Aug. 30, 2012</strong> -- Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson is assigned the case.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>Oct. 19, 2012</strong> -- Judge Nelson grants a defense motion requesting access to Trayvon Martin's school records and social media posts. The state is also granted access to Zimmerman's medical records.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>Nov. 14, 2012</strong> -- Gov. Scott's "Stand Your Ground" task force concludes its final meeting and recommends no sweeping changes to the law.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>Nov. 20, 2012</strong> -- Former Casey Anthony attorney Jose Baez announces that he is representing Sanford police Detective Chris Serino, the lead investigator in the shooting.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>Dec. 3, 2012</strong> -- A new photo is released showing George Zimmerman with a bloody, broken nose on the night of the shooting.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>Feb. 5, 2013</strong> -- On this day, Trayvon Martin would have turned 18.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>Feb. 26, 2013</strong> -- Martin's parents hold a rally in his memory to mark the one-year anniversary of his death.

  • Key Dates In The Trayvon Martin Case

    <strong>March 26, 2013</strong> -- Zimmerman's defense team releases its witness list of 134 people, including Sanford police officers and 56 unnamed witnesses.

 

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