Five hundred and four days passed between the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and the ‘not guilty’ verdict of George Zimmerman, the man who openly admits to killing the unarmed Black teenage boy. The verdict resulted in thousands of people around the country responding with protests, vigils, community meetings, and a commitment to action.
The murder of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman are not anomalies in our criminal punishment system. They are the norm. Article upon article has been written since the verdict reminding readers that Black bodies are not valued by our culture and Black people can be killed with no consequences to those who pull the trigger or who create the systems that lead to constant premature death for people of color.