Today marks the one-year anniversary of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s shooting death in Sanford, Florida at the hands of gunman George Zimmerman.
To mark the tragic anniversary, Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, spoke with the Washington Post over lunch in Maryland last Friday. Fulton admits she’s still in a state of “disbelief.” “I just feel like he’s away. He’s away.” said Fulton. “I mean, in actuality, I know that he’s not coming back. I’ve had people die, pass away in my family, it just surpasses everything that I’ve been through. Not only because it was a sudden death. It was a minor. It was a teenager. It was a, you know, it was my baby.”
On the evening of February 26, 2012, Martin was walking home from a local 7-Eleven carrying a bag of Skittles and ice tea when he was pursued by neighborhood watch member, Zimmerman. Martin, who was wearing a hoodie at the time, was confronted and a scuffle ensued. Zimmerman ultimately shot and killed Martin. Zimmerman was soon let go under Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. After much attention, an investigation from the FBI and the dismissal of Sanford police chief Bill Lee, Zimmerman turned himself into authorities 59 days after the fatal shooting. He was charged with second-degree murder.
“I just believe that God is using me to inspire other people,” said Fulton. “[If] you had told me a year ago that something would have happened to one of my boys, I probably would have said I would have lost my mind. But God gives me the strength because I don’t think that I’m so special that I could do it by myself. He’s helping me to stand. He’s helping me to speak. He’s helping me to present my case to the world. So, I’m just being obedient to what He’s telling me.”
Late last year, a Florida judge set a June 10 trial date. Since then Zimmerman’s camp has tried to delay the trial but to no avail. Fulton feels like the case is right on track. “We have the arrest. Now we need to have the criminal trial and hopefully somebody is [held] accountable for what they’ve done.”