Meanwhile, the details of Trayvon Martin's assassination in Sanford, Florida 2012 are well-known: 17-year-old Trayvon was unarmed, wearing a dark gray hoodie and wearing only a bag of skittles when he was shot in a gated community. His attacker, George Zimmerman, was a trigger-happy neighborhood guard leader with a history of run-ins with law enforcement. The case gained national attention and triggered the # BlackLivesMatter movement. After protests and public outcry Zimmerman was finally charged with second-degree murder. He was later acquitted, although the jury thought about it for sixteen hours.
Trayvons Assassination Is the Subject of a New Documentary Series, Rest In Power: The Trayvon-Martin Story Premiere tonight on the Paramount Network and BET. The series, directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason and produced by Jay-Z, does not add much new information to the existing narrative. It does not have to. Instead, it takes a heartbreaking, profound look at the shootings more than six years later ̵
Rest In Power provides a powerful context for Martin's shooting; With interviews with top civil rights attorneys, journalists from publications such as Reuters and Politico, city and law enforcement officers from Sanford and Martin's parents, the first episode seeks to expose the myth that America was "post-racial" in 2012 Barack Obama may be America's first black president have fueled the assumption for some of them, but this ignores the intricacies of racial relationships across the country and especially in southern states like Florida.
It is these subtleties that so cleverly explore Tranquility in Power and paint a portrait of a crime that would henceforth yield much information about nationwide racial relations.  Rest in Power collected racial micro-aggression from Sanford police officers who called Trayvon's father Tracy with news of his son's death and asked if she correctly pronounced "Trayvon" to Sanford PD a public information officer, condescendingly exposing a group of black people to explain why they could not arrest George Zimmerman.
The first episode begins with a brief introduction to Martin's childhood and background before addressing the events of February 26, 2012. Surveillance, emergency calls and photos of crime scenes barely make the barbarism of shooting. Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, almost collapse as they remember the moments when they found out that their child had been murdered, and their subsequent frustration and anger that Zimmerman had been free for weeks after the crime.
Civil rights advocate Benjamin Crump would later take over Trayvons case, and his interviews in Rest In Power are captivating. Recognizing the challenges that black Americans face in their quest for justice, Crump is cited by peers and reporters alike in the series for sending the narrative of Trayvon, a murdered young black man, into the white mainstream media has spread. Rest In Power emphasizes the role the media played in bringing Trayvons assassination and subsequent search of his family to the forefront of public awareness, eventually leading to mass protests across the country.
But not all coverage was positive. The show is quick to point out. Many photos used in the media by Martin amplified Stereotype's perceptions of him as violent thug stereotypes working in Zimmerman's favor, claiming he shot Martin in self-defense after the unarmed teenager attacked him. Regardless, Crump's legal ability, combined with his influence – he hired the Reverend Al Sharpton in his bid to persuade the Sanford Police Department to release the 911 volumes from the night in which Trayvon was assassinated – contributed to Trayvon's fall into the national limelight explains the show.
Rest in Power is sometimes hard to see, and the final part of the first episode ends with a bittersweet victory: the release of the 911 audio material to the general public. Martin's parents are the first to listen and both sob as they tell their reactions to their son's last moments. It is frightening and undeniably sad, but it also gives viewers the chance, for the first time, if they have not already done so, to witness the brutal conclusion of an encounter that will shape modern race relations in America.
The series is aware of the context in which we live: minutes before the first episode, amidst overlapping clips of Martin's murder, a familiar, grating voice rises above the rest: It's Donald Trump, who announces grimly, That the American Dream is dead to thunderous applause. A brief history of Florida's 2005 Stand Your Ground Law shows that NRA lobbyists were crucial in getting Governor Jeb Bush to underline a critical point that is as topical today as 2012: more conservative Government and national policies can provide a breeding ground for racist ideologies that at worst trigger violence and, at best, propagate hatred.
While perhaps less today would argue that we live in a post-racial nation (how can we face the president's racist track record?), It may be too easy to forget the origins of the now ubiquitous Black Lives Matter movement. Rest In Power is a poignant reminder that even after six years of protests, court sentences, and more tragic shots, we still have a long way to go.