Trayvon Benjamin Martin was a 17-year-old African-American boy from Miami Gardens, Florida, who was fatally shot in Sanford, Florida
Zimmerman, a 28-year-old man of mixed race, was the neighborhood watch coordinator for his gated community where Martin was visiting his relatives at the time of the shooting. Zimmerman shot Martin, who was unarmed, during a physical altercation between the two. Zimmerman, injured during the encounter, claimed self-defense at his trial.
In a widely reported trial, Zimmerman was charged with murder for Martin's death, but acquitted at trial after claiming self-defense. The incident was reviewed by the Department of Justice for potential civil rights violations, but no additional charges were filed, citing insufficient evidence.
At a White House press conference in March, President Obama was asked about the Martin shooting, and said, "If I had a son he would look like Trayvon and I think they [his parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves."