Martin was killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in 2012. The
unarmed teen’s death ignited a firestorm of controversy because
Zimmerman was not immediately arrested. He was later acquitted after
arguing he acted in self-defense.
Deen made headlines after revelations that she used racial slurs. The controversy cost the popular chef her show on the Food Network.
Both events resonated in Washington and across the country, provoking dialogue about race and gun culture in the United States.
"SVU" is known for pulling plot points from the headlines, and the episode is likely to get more attention because of last week's slaying of Chris Lane, a young, white Australian baseball player, who died after three teens shot him down while he was out running. Two of the teens are black.
Lane’s death has become a flashpoint of racial controversy in the U.S., as some on the right have sought to draw a connection between Lane and Martin, arguing that the muted reaction to Lane’s case is racially motivated.