The shooting and killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida last month by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman as the unarmed Martin was walking in Zimmerman’s gated community has exploded into national discussion and outrage as more of the potential implications of the case have come to light — from apparent police mishandling of the case from the outset; to questions about Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law (and similar laws in several other states) that seems to offer a loose interpretation of “self-defense” (Zimmerman is free, claiming he killed the young man in self-defense); to concerns about Zimmerman’s mindset during his 911 call as he reported what he perceived as a suspicious-looking black youth, and as he pursued Martin despite being instructed not to do so by the dispatcher.
The socially charged case appears to be developing by the hour, and this Monday, March 26, at 7:30pm ET/PT, BET will be airing a news special, Shoot First: The Tragedy of Trayvon Martin, to deconstruct key elements of the case. Hosted by Emmett Miller, the half-hour special, which will be rebroadcast at 8pm ET on Centric that same night, will report on all of the elements that led this case to reach its fever pitch, tracing the story from when it first made headlines to rallies that mobilized people to the streets wearing hooded sweatshirts in honor of Martin and demanding justice. The special will also report on new developments in the case, including the three pending investigations and the online petition to have Zimmerman arrested. The program will also include exclusive interviews with the Martin family and neighborhood witnesses.