Trayvon Martin Graphic

George Zimmerman was briefly sent back to jail recently, but that was just the latest twist in the Trayvon Martin tragedy.

The death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was preceded and followed by a series of dramatic events that turned a local crime into a national tragedy.

The full timeline of Martin’s death before and after February 26 paints a complex picture of both Zimmerman and the unarmed teen he killed.

The story starts before Martin makes his trip to the 7-11.

  • January 8, 2011 -- George Zimmerman, then 27, slams the Sanford, Fla. police at a community forum, calling them 'disgusting,' the Miami Herald reports.
  • August 3, 2011 -- Zimmerman reports a 'suspicious black male' in his neighbourhood at the Retreat at Twin Lakes, police records show.
  • August 4, 2011 -- Zimmerman reports another suspicious black male in his neighbourhood.
  • September 22, 2011 -- Zimmerman becomes a neighbourhood watch 'coordinator,' police records say.
  • October 6, 2011 -- And after he becomes coordinator, Zimmerman tells the police about yet another suspicious black male at his neighbourhood.

Trayvon wasn't a model student.

  • October 21 2011 -- Police search then-16-year-old Trayvon Martin's locker after a school official spots him being 'suspicious' in an unauthorised area of Krop High School, NBC Miami reported.
  • February 2, 2012 -- Zimmerman phones police about another 'suspicious' black male at 1460 Retreat View Circle.
  • February 2012, sometime before the 26th -- Martin is suspended from school for 10 days for having a baggie with trace amounts of marijuana in it, the Miami Herald reported.
  • He had previously been suspended for skipping school and being late, his parents acknowledged.

Trayvon goes to the 7-11.

  • February 26, 2012, 6:23 p.m. -- Martin can be seen approaching a cash register at the 7-11 where he bought his Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea.
  • The 7-11 was at apparently at 1215 Rinehart Road, a little more than half a mile from the neighbourhood where he was staying with his father and his father's girlfriend.
  • 7:11 p.m. -- Zimmerman calls the police's non-emergency line to report a 'suspicious person' near 111 Retreat View Circle, according to police records. Zimmerman told the police that the male 'should not have been in the area' and that he saw him while 'walking his neighbourhood watch,' the police report stated.
  • 7:12 p.m. -- Martin receives a call from a female friend, and he tells her somebody is following him. The girl tells him to run, ABC News reports.

Panicked neighbours call 911.

  • 7:13 p.m. -- Zimmerman tells a dispatcher that the person is running from him, and a dispatcher asks if he's following the person. 'OK; we don't need you to do that,' the dispatcher says.
  • 7:15 p.m. -- The call with Zimmerman ends.
  • 7:16 p.m. -- A 911 call is placed by an unnamed party, according to police records. At least five 911 calls are placed, and in one call a man can be heard yelling 'help' 14 times in a 38-second period.
  • 7:17 p.m. -- A single gunshot can be heard on the 911 call. The screams stop.
  • The 911 calls are chilling. One woman speaks to a dispatcher for 14 minutes, describing Martin as just a young boy. 'He was saying help. Why didn't someone come out and help him?' she said.

Police arrive on the scene too late.

  • 7:19 p.m. -- An officer who has arrived on the scene places Zimmerman in police custody. Martin's body is found between 1231 Twin Trees Lane and 2821 Retreat View Circle, police records show.
  • 7:30 p.m. -- Martin is pronounced dead, police records show. He didn't have any ID on him.
  • 2:30 a.m. -- An Orlando, Fla. TV station files the first apparent news report on the shooting, without naming either Zimmerman or Martin.

Nobody knows who the dead teen is, at first.

  • February 27, 2012, 9:20 a.m. -- A police officer responds to a missing person report from Martins' father Tracy Martin, who said Trayvon never returned from a trip to the store, a police report shows. The officer notes a resemblance between Tracy Martin and the body of Trayvon.
  • February 27, 2012, 10:30 a.m. -- A Daytona Beach, Fla. medical examiner rules Martin's death a homicide.
  • February 28, 2012 -- Police receive a call from an anonymous tipster who calls Zimmerman a racist and says he would have no problem starting a fight, a police report stated.
  • February 28, 2012, 12:30 a.m. -- The police identify Martin, official reports show.
  • 10:30 a.m. -- Tracy Martin tells the police he's concerned that no arrest has been made, but he acknowledges the 'complexity' of the case, a police report states.
  • Tracy Martin listens to the 911 calls placed the night his son died, and police ask him if the person in the background yelling for help was his son. The dead boy's father quietly responds no, the police say.
  • February 29, 2012, 7:30 p.m. -- The Orlando Sentinel identifies both Martin and his shooter, pointing out that Zimmerman belongs to his neighbourhood watch.

Trayvon's death makes its way into the national press.

  • March 5, 2012 -- A police officer contacts Zimmerman's neighbours, who said he had never 'harassed or bothered anybody,' according to a police report.
  • March 8, 2012 -- Trayvon Martin's father holds a press conference, calling for the arrest of the man who killed his son, the Sentinel reports.
  • March 9, 2012 -- The police receive a fax from Zimmerman's family doctor revealing that he'd had an open wound on his scalp and a broken nose, the police report shows.
  • March 16, 2012 -- The national press finally picks up on the Trayvon Martin story. The New York Times reports that the slain teen's family is requesting a Justice Department probe into the shooting.
  • That same day, the Sentinel reports that the police released 911 calls revealing that Zimmerman pursued Martin.
  • March 20, 2012 -- The Justice Department has launched an inquiry into the Martin shooting, Bloomberg reports.
  • March 22, 2012 -- The Sanford Police Department reveals that police chief Bill Lee has 'temporarily' stepped down amid pressure over the Trayvon controversy.
  • March 23, 2012 -- 'If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon,' President Barack Obama says, finally speaking out on the shooting.
  • Geraldo Rivera angers a lot of people by blaming Martin's death on his iconic hoodie, according to reports from that same day. But LeBron James also tweets a powerful photo of the Miami Heat wearing hoodies to show solidarity.
  • March 26, 2012 -- 'The whole world is watching Sanford,' Jesse Jackson and other civil rights leaders including Al Sharpton tell the city's commissioners.
  • March 27, 2012 -- Bringing even more national attention to Trayvon, the slain boy's parents appear on Capitol Hill to beg people not to resort to violence to punish Zimmerman.
  • That day, Fox makes a savvy public relations move by pulling its ads for its unfortunately titled movie neighbourhood Watch, the Associated Press reports.
  • March 29, 2012 -- In an epic gaffe, Spike Lee inadvertently forces an elderly couple to flee their home after retweeting their address. He told the world they could find Zimmerman there.

Al Sharpton warns of more civil disobedience if Zimmerman isn't arrested.

  • March 30, 2012 -- The National Association for Legal Gun defence offers $10,000 for Zimmerman's legal defence, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
  • March 31, 2012 -- Al Sharpton says civil disobedience will escalate if Zimmerman isn't arrested, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
  • April 6, 2012 -- Zimmerman perhaps gains some sympathy after NBC fires a producer for editing his February 26 call about Martin to make him appear racist, the New York Times reports.
  • Zimmerman was just answering a question from the dispatcher about the teen's race.
  • April 10, 2012 -- The case takes a weird twist when Zimmerman's lawyers Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig drop their unpopular client after he stops returning their calls.

Zimmerman is finally arrested but still gets support to the tune of $200K.

  • April 11, 2012 -- ZIMMERMAN IS FINALLY ARRESTED. He faces second-degree charges a month and a half after Martin's death.
  • April 18, 2012 -- Florida judge Jessica Recksiedler steps down from the Zimmerman case because her husband's colleague had commented on the case for CNN.
  • April 20, 2012 -- The new judge on the case, Kenneth Lester, finds Zimmerman can be released on $150,000 bond.
  • April 27, 2012 -- But Zimmerman has already collected $200,000 in donations, his new lawyer, Mark O'Mara, reveals.

The evidence starts to make Zimmerman look better.

  • May 17, 2012 -- The Florida state attorney prosecuting Zimmerman releases a trove of evidence, including photos showing the neighbourhood watchman bloody and bruised.
  • May 22, 2012 -- Zimmerman possibly gains more favour in the public eye, as news emerges that key witnesses may have changed their stories that cast the neighbourhood watchman in a negative light.

But then he ends up back in jail anyway.

  • June 1, 2012 -- In an upset to the Zimmerman defence, his bond is revoked after prosecutors claim that he lied about the existence of a second passport and the amount of money at his disposal.
  • June 3, 2012 -- And two days later, he heads back to the slammer.
  • June 5, 2012 -- Two days after that, his lawyers decide to leave him there, at least for a while.
  • June 7, 2012 -- On second thought, Zimmerman's lawyers say they will ask for bond on June 29.

Zimmerman's wife enters the fray.

June 12, 2012, 3:30 -- Zimmerman's wife, Shelllie, is arr rested for allegedly lying about the couple's finances during the original bond hearing.

June 18, 2012 -- The state of Florida releases a series of incriminating jailhouse phone calls between Shellie and George, in which they discuss transferring money from his account to hers.

George Zimmerman gets a new bond and goes into hiding.

  • July 5 -- Judge Kenneth Lester grants George Zimmerman's request for a new bond, but sets the amount at $1 million after taking the neighbourhood watchman to task for lying to the court.
  • July 6 -- The higher bond spurs George Zimmerman's supporters to raise $20,000 in just one day, according to his lawyers.
  • July 8 -- The neighbourhood watchman's lawyers report he's hiding out in a heavily guarded safe house.

Read on if you want even more details from the Trayvon Martin case.

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