Trayvon Martin's Parents Talk At Congressional Hearing on Racial Profiling - NBC 6 South Florida

Trayvon Martin's Parents Talk At Congressional Hearing on Racial Profiling

Mother of slain Miami teen to attend House Judiciary Committee briefing

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    Trayvon Martin's Parents Speak at Congressional Hearing on Racial Profiling

    Trayvon Martin's parents attended and spoke at a congressional forum held in Washington D.C. Tuesday to discuss racial profiling and hate crimes issues. Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin thanked supporters. (Published Tuesday, March 27, 2012)

    Trayvon Martin's parents attended a congressional forum held in Washington D.C. Tuesday to discuss racial profiling and hate crimes issues.

    "Trayvon is our son, but Trayvon is your son," said his mother Sybrina Fulton at the hearing. "A lot of people can relate to our situation and it breaks their heart just like it breaks mine."

    His father Tracy Martin also spoke and thanked everyone who had been supporting them.

    "He is sadly missed, and we will continue to fight for justice for him," he said.

    At the forum, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson also called for an arrest in case and she vowed to keep on pushing for one.

    "No arrest has been made and in my opinion, an arrest should be made, and I will not rest until an arrest is made," she said. "I am tired of burying young black boys."

    Wilson said is a drafting legislation to create a federal commission on the social status of black men and boys.

    A Primer on the Federal Investigation of the Trayvon Martin Shooting

    [MI] A Primer on the Federal Investigation of the Trayvon Martin Shooting
    The Justice Department and the FBI are taking a look at what happened in Sanford in the Trayvon Martin shooting, and while you might think they are focused on George Zimmerman, one legal expert says their real focus is local law enforcement. "When the federal government gets involved, it's generally aimed at a violation of civil rights," FIU College of Law Professor Phyllis Kotey says. Federal authorities are investigating whether Martin's civil rights were violated by the police chief, his officers, and local prosecutors, she says.
    (Published Saturday, March 24, 2012)

    She added that Martin was "a victim of a botched police investigation."

    Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin were at the House Judiciary Committee briefing, which was organized by  Wilson.

    Rebecca Monroe, the acting director of the Community Relations Service for the U.S. Department of Justice will appear on a panel along with Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump and others.

    A rally to protest the Martin shooting will take place before the forum at the Department of Justice in D.C.

    On Monday, Fulton and Martin's father, Tracy Martin, took part in a massive rally in Sanford before appearing before the Sanford City Commission to demand an arrest in their son's shooting.

    "For the Sanford Police Department to feel as though they were going to sweep another young black minority death under the rug is an atrocity," Tracy Martin said. “We’re not asking for an eye for an eye, we’re asking for justice, justice, justice."

    Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on Feb. 26 in Sanford.

    Martin was visiting with his father at his father's girlfriend's home in a gated community and had gone to buy a bag of Skittles and iced tea at a nearby convenience store and was walking back when the shooting happened.

    Though Martin was unarmed, Zimmerman told police the shooting was self-defense, and no charges have been filed in the case.

    Earlier Monday, it was revealed by authorities that Zimmerman told police the teen had punched him in the face and knocked him to the ground then climbed on top of him and slammed his head into the sidewalk several times.

    Zimmerman told police he had turned around and was walking back to his SUV when Martin approached him from behind and the two got into a verbal altercation, according to the Orlando Sentinel report.

    Martin asked Zimmerman if he had a problem and Zimmerman said no and reached for his phone, he told police, according to the report.

    "Well, you do now," Martin said, according to Zimmerman, before he threw the first punch, the Sentinel report said.

    Martin punched Zimmerman in the nose and began beating him on the ground, leaving him bloodied and battered, authorities said, according to the report.

    Zimmerman told police he began yelling for help, though Crump and witnesses say it was Martin that was yelling for help.

    When asked about the police's report that Martin threw the first punch Monday, Crump responded, "It's all Zimmerman's allegation. Zimmerman lived to tell about it."

    Tracy Martin agreed, saying, "That's Zimmerman's account. That ain't what really happened."

    The Sanford Police said in a statement that the latest report was "consistent with the information provided to the State Attorney's Office by the police department."

    Zimmerman's attorney, Craig Sonner, appeared on NBC's "Today Show" Monday to support Zimmerman's self-defense claim.

    "I think we need to let the investigation come forward and let all the facts in this case come out," Sonner said. "I think it's going to tell a different story than the way it's been related and portrayed in the media so far."

    Also on Monday, a Martin family spokesperson confirmed that the teen had been suspended fr 10 days from Krop Senior High School for possession of an empty marijuana baggie.

    Fulton and Crump blamed police for leaking the information and said it was an attempt to demonize the teen.

    "They killed my son and now they're trying to kill his reputation," Fulton said.

    "Even in death, they are still disrespecting my son. And I feel that that's a sin," Tracy Martin said.

    The shooting has led to marches and rallies in South Florida and across the country, as the family and activists push for Zimmerman's arrest. 

    The U.S. Justice Department and FBI are investigating the shooting, and last week Lee, the police chief, announced he was temporarily stepping down during the investigation into the shooting.

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott has appointed a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into Martin's death and has formed a task force to hold hearings on the shooting.