28-year-old George Zimmerman has been released on bail. The man accused of killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was released on $150,000 (£93,000) bail.
As a neighbourhood watch volunteer Mr Zimmerman was patrolling a gated area in Florida when he came across Trayvon. The teenager was not a local resident but visiting from Miami. Trayvon was unarmed and carrying only a bag of Skittles purchased at the store. Mr Zimmerman made a rash judgement that Trayvon was acting suspiciously. As Zimmerman was a stranger to Trayvon that is hardly surprising. A man following you is after all unsettling.
George chased the young man when Trayon decided to leg it. If he had not it could have been a totally different story and Trayvon would be alive today. In the event an alleged altercation took place and Trayvon was shot dead. Under a misguided Florida "stand your ground" law Mr Zimmerman was not charged nor the crime investigated.
Whilst some, mainly the US right, have tried to defend this case and condemn the media coverage it has been that which has ultimately led to justice beginning for Trayvon and his family. In court on Friday April 20, 2012, Mr Zimmerman apologised directly to Trayvon's parents. He went on to say that he had "not known Trayvon, who was visiting from Miami, was unarmed on the night he killed him and did not realise how young he was".
There has been a lot of supposition regarding this case and opinion. The US gun lobby and Right have taken a foolish carte blanche stance which belittles the intelligence of others. The fact is that Mr Zimmerman should not have chased Trayvon in the first place. He had no good cause. The chain of events that followed are up for debate but there is no escaping that Race played a part.
From the moment Trayvon was pursued it was a matter of Race. The subsequent refusal to charge Mr Zimmerman and the stance posed by right wing media compounded the race card. Some may condemn President Obama for weighing in and as they saw it jumping on the race bandwagon but it had been set in motion by many others.
Following the shooting ion February 26 of this year Mr Zimmerman went into hiding. When six weeks later charges of second degree murder were brought against him he handed himself in. His bail conditions are that he cannot have any guns and must observe a 7pm to 6am curfew. He has also surrendered his passport and his location is unknown.
The bail money was in part raised by his family but a website set up to raise funds for him presumably contributed.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog