Shooting death of Trayvon Martin provokes outrage, federal investigation

The Takeaway

This undated photo released by the Martin family shows 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Martin was shot and killed as he walked through a gated neighborhood, where he was visiting family in Sanford, Fla. (Photo courtesy of Reuters.)

Federal Department of Justice officials, Florida state law enforcement and the FBI are all stepping in to investigate the killing more than three weeks ago of a black teenager in Sanford, Fla., outside Orlando.

The shooting of Trayvon Martin, 17, is being portrayed alternately as an act of self-defense and as a racially motivated hate crime — depending on whom you ask.

Sanford Police have declined to arrest the man believed to have shot and killed Martin, neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, because Zimmerman says he was acting in self-defense. But Tuesday, an attorney representing the Martin family came forward with new information that opens Zimmerman up to questions. Martin's girlfriend, who's not been identified, said she was on the phone with Martin up and till the moment he was shot. She said Martin tried to get away from the man — rather than confront Zimmerman — and that he also asked him why he was following him, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

 Zimmerman Must Be Held Accountable
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