‘Black Lives Matter’ cases: What happened after the protests?


Story highlights

The Michael Brown case didn't yield criminal charges, but the Justice Department sued the city of Ferguson

The killing of Walter Scott led to South Carolina mandating the use of police body cameras

CNN —  

The protests happen with such frequency, the images seem like deja vu: Demonstrators flooding city streets, demanding an end to excessive police force and chanting “black lives matter.”

But each case that spurs “black lives matter” marches has different circumstances – and different outcomes. Here are how some high-profile cases have turned out:

Trayvon Martin, 17

George Zimmerman, left, and Trayvon Martin
Gary W. Green/Pool/Getty Images/Courtesy Jerome Horto
George Zimmerman, left, and Trayvon Martin

Date of death: February 26, 2012

Where: Sanford, Florida

What happened: Martin was walking from a convenience store back to the home of his father’s fiancée. Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman spotted him from his car and called 911, reporting “a real suspicious guy.”

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something,” Zimmerman told a dispatcher. “It’s raining, and he’s just walking around.”

A scuffle broke out, but there were no direct witnesses. Zimmerman claimed Martin attacked him, hitting him in the nose and knocking him onto the pavement. Zimmerman said he then took out his gun and shot Martin in self defense.

But critics said Zimmerman was unjustified in confronting the unarmed teen, especially since Zimmerman didn’t heed a police dispatcher’s advice to stop following him.

The outcomes: Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder but was found not guilty. The acquittal ignited protests across the country, and the “Black Lives Matter” movement gained national prominence.

The case also led to the firing of Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, who was criticized for not arresting Zimmerman after Martin was killed.

Why this verdict? Five things that led to Zimmerman’s acquittal

Eric Garner, 43