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a graphic short story by helen song and monica torres

a message from the authors

On february 26, 2012, 17-year-old trayvon martin was shot to death in sanford, florida. george zimmerman, an appointed neighborhood watch coordinator for the Sanford gated community of The Retreat, claimed he shot trayvon martin in self-defense. martin left his father’s house in The retreat to get Skittles and iced tea, and never returned home. On Martin’s return trip from the convenience store, Zimmerman saw martin, alerting the sanford police dispatcher about “a real suspicious guy.” The phone call ended abruptly when a violent encounter took place between martin and zimmerman, ending with martin's death. after being questioned by the sanford police department, zimmerman was released without being charged due to his protection under florida's 2005 "stand your ground" law. "Stand your ground" states an individual may use deadly force in selfdefense when there is reasonable belief of a threat. once word of martin's death and the controversy surrounding "stand your ground" went viral in the national news media, a public and federal investigation of the incident began to take place. On november 27, 2012, 17-year-old jordan russell davis was shot to death at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida. The shooter, michael david dunn, got into an argument over the volume of davis’ music that escalated in davis’ death. some believe dunn will use "stand your ground" in his defense case as well. Under “Stand Your Ground,” a licensed gun can be used at any time and at any place, as self-defense. The law protects whoever shoots first, and those in its firing range pay the price. This story is our attempt to recover the voices guns silenced. trayvon martin and jordan russell davis' deaths were not isolated events. we are trayvon.

-december 2, 2012

sanford, florida February 2012


have you started your college applications yet?

mo-om, i'm 17! i don't need someone to always check on me!

i'm your mother. it's my job to worry about you. I just love you too much not to care.

mom‌ you're embarrassing. it's ok. i can take care of myself.


remember, you're my favorite son!

zimmerman: He's just walking around the area.

I'm your only son.

if I had a son, he'd look like trayvon.

I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen.

all senior boys, please report to P.E.


911 dispatcher: did you see what he was wearing?

zimmerman: he wore jeans or sweat pants and white tennis shoes.

good game!

thanks. nice kicks!



time for social civics class.


I can't start class until everyone is Dressed for class. take off your hoods. you guys should know this by now.

911 dispatcher: did you see what he was wearing? zimmerman: yeah, a dark hoodie, like a grey hoodie.

I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.

but i'll bet you money, if he didn't have that hoodie on that nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn't have responded in that violent and aggressive way.

take that hood off. you have to recognize that this whole stylizing yourself as a gangsta? well, people are going to perceive you as a menace.

trayvon martin's, you know, god bless him, he's an innocent kid, a wonderful kid, a box of Skittles in his hand.


But why should i?

they look unprofessional and aggresive.

911 dispatcher: ok, is he white, black, or hispanic?



it is unfair!


what's wrong with hoodies? this is unfair!

settle down, everyone! it;s time to learn about black history month.

just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them...

Order! order! *clack* *clack*

‌ a hoodlum.


the member is no longer recognized. the chair will ask the sergeant-at arms to enforce the prohibition on decor.

All members need to remove their hoods or leave the floor.

what does the lord require you but to do justly‌ and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your god.

zimmerman: something's wrong with him. yep, he's coming to check me out. he's got something in his hands. i don't know what his deal is.

yo, why didn't you back me up in class?

I just didn't want to cause trouble.


it's more than just about hoodies in class. it's like that trayvon thing.

you should really look into it when you get home.

what do you mean?

his death was more than just about his hoodie.


alright, alright. stop bugging me about it.


zimmerman: now he's staring at me.


Timeline of actual events

feb. 26, 2012 17-year-old trayvon martin is shot to death by george zimmeran in sanford, florida.

Mar. 23. 2012 president obama weighs in the trayvon martin killing at a rose garden press conference that was originally intended to announce his nomination for Jim yong kim to run the world bank. (pg. 3)

for the first 10 days, there is no national coverage of trayvon's death. only local news outlets report on the incident. (pg. 1) Mar. 16, 2012 The transcript between zimmerman and the 9-1-1 dispatcher on the night of trayvon's killing is released to the public. (pg. 3)

lebron james pays tribute to trayvon martin by writing a message on his shoe before the miami heats vs. detroit pistons game. (pg. 4)

geraldo rivera blames the hoodie for trayvon's death on the fox daytime show "fox and friends." (pg. 5)

Mar. 26, 2012 the daily caller, a rightwing website, makes an archive of trayvon martin's tweets to "prove" the boy was not so innocent. (pg. 7)

mar. 28, 2012 representative bobby rush (D-IL 1st District) dons a hoodie and talks about racial profiling during a house address. he is asked to leave the chamber. (pp.7 & 8)

Mar. 21, 2012 "million hoodie march" takes place in new york city. (pg. 4) Mar. 8, 2012 tracy martin, trayvon's mother, appears on cbs' "this morning" for her first nationally televised interview. (pg. 2)

Apr. 2, 2012 A letter from zimmerman's family member accusing the naacp for being racist is published online. (pg. 9)

Mar. 24, 2012 nbA basketball player dwayne wayde and the miami heat shows their support for trayvon via twitter. (pg. 6)


nov. 27, 2012 17-year-old jordan russell davis is shot to death in jacksonville, florida by michael david dunn supposedly over an argument about loud music .

Stand Your Ground  

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