From Washington to Hollywood to Main Street, Martin's story has struck a cultural nerve that demands effective policy response. In death, Trayvon Martin stands in the eye of a tempestuous storm that is forcing us to take a long, hard look in the mirror.
In the first couple of weeks following the Feb. 26 fatal shooting and Zimmerman's release after claiming self-defense under Florida's so-called "stand your ground" law, few Americans knew anything about it.
The Martin and Anderson cases demonstrate the vital role the federal government can play in investigations when there are questions surrounding the local or state government's ability or willingness to initiate a prosecution.
We sadly cannot change Trayvon Martin's death, but we can take steps to ensure he did not die in vain. If the Department of Justice establishes homicide investigation protocols for state and local police departments, this will be part of an enduring memorial to Trayvon Martin's legacy.