The February 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 17, at the hands of George Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch captain who said he acted in self-defense, has riveted the nation, largely because of race. Trayvon Martin was black. George Zimmerman is white and Hispanic.
For about 10 days, the story remained obscure. Television news from nearby Orlando aired a few segments. The Orlando Sentinel published two brief articles, and the twice-weekly Sanford Herald ran 213 words. Otherwise, there was media silence. This is an account of what happened before everyone knew Trayvon Martin’s name.