A day before a grand jury was to hear the case of the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey decided to forgo the proceedings and make the decision on charges herself.
The case surrounding Martin, an African-American teen who was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, has triggered a heated debate on race relations and use of force laws in America.
Zimmerman, whose mother is Hispanic, confessed to the killing but continues to state he acted in self-defense. He states Martin punched him and slammed his head into the pavement after the watchman approached him in a gated community in Sanford on February 26th.
Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law allows deadly force to be used when one considered their life at risk. Zimmerman says Martin, who was returning from a convenience store after buying an iced tea and Skittles, looked suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie.
911 calls recorded near the scene picked up screams and the shot that killed Martin, but it is unclear from whom the yells were coming.
Martin supporters nationwide have called into question the efficacy of the police investigation and why Zimmerman himself was never arrested.
But, the move by Corey on Monday to not seek a grand jury ruling could mean Zimmerman will not be charged with first-degree murder. State law requires a grand jury to be convened to charge a suspect in this manner.
Now, it is up to Corey to determine the charges she thinks are appropriate in the case. However, she can always consult a grand jury at a later date if she sees fit.
Supporters of Martin continued to rally Tuesday as Corey continued her deliberations.
Appearing on CNN, Martin's parents said they pray daily for justice in the case.
On Tuesday, Martin supporters congregated in Los Angeles for a "Million Hoodie March" organized by the ANSWER Los Angeles Coalition.
by RTT Staff Writer
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