Thursday, March 22, 2012

The latest on the Trayvon Martin tragedy

--> Trayvon Martin, 17, was “an A and B student who majored in cheerfulness,” according to his English teacher. Trayvon loved building models and taking things apart, his favorite subject was math, and he dreamed of becoming a pilot and an engineer. Instead, he was gunned down by a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain vigilante who profiled him, followed him, and shot him in the chest.

--> The Sanford City Commission voted 3-2 that it had no confidence in Police Chief Bill Lee Jr. over his handling of the Trayvon Martin shooting yesterday.

The Florida shooting has ignited a furor against the police department of the Orlando suburb of 53,500 people, prompting rallies and a protest in Gov. Rick Scott's office on Tuesday.

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division said it is sending its community relations service this week to Sanford to "address tension in the community."

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--> The HuffPo reports: Trayvon Martin's parents told hundreds of people at a march in his memory on yesterday that they won't stop until they get justice for him.

"My son did not deserve to die," the teenager's father, Tracy Martin, said after thanking the crowd.

The teen's mother, Sybrina Fulton, told the crowd: "My heart is in pain, but to see the support of all of you really makes a difference."

Last night, demonstrators chanted "we want arrests" during the Million Hoodie March in Manhattan's Union Square. The march splintered into various groups, with some demonstrators heading to Times Square to hold an impromptu rally and dozens of others making their way to downtown Manhattan.

--> Meanwhile in Miami: Lifting high cans of iced tea and bags of skittles -- the same items Trayvon Martin had on his person while shot walking home -- Miami residents gathered yesterday afternoon to protest his tragic death and a lack of charges against the neighborhood watchman who killed him.

Protestors joined together in Liberty City's Sherdavia Jenkins Peace Park, named after a 9-year-old girl who was killed by a stray bullet while playing in her front yard in 2006. Carrying signs reading "Trayvon Today Who Tomorrow," "Justice For Trayvon," and "How Many More Trayvons," marchers lifted hands in prayer and chanted "We want justice!"

Protestor Suneeda Williams told the Miami Herald she wanted to come to the peace march "'armed and dangerous' just like Trayvon was," referring to the can of iced tea in her right hand and Skittles in the left. More here.

--> And finally, a few words from Marian Wright Edelman, President of the Children's Defense Fund:
Trayvon’s death was not unique. In 2008 and 2009, 2,582 black children and teens were killed by gunfire. Black children and teens were only 15% of the child population, but 45% of the 5,740 child and teen gun deaths in those two years. Black males 15 to 19 years-old were eight times as likely as white males to be gun homicide victims.

The outcry over Trayvon’s death is absolutely right and just. We need the same sense of outrage over every one of these child deaths. Above all, we need a nation where these senseless deaths no longer happen.

But we won’t get it until we have common-sense gun laws that protect children instead of guns and don’t allow people like George Zimmerman to take the law into their own hands. We won’t get it until we have a culture that sees every child as a child of God and sacred, instead of seeing some as expendable statistics, and others as threats and “no good” because of the color of their skin or because they chose to walk home wearing a hood in the rain. And we won’t get it until enough of us -- parents and grandparents -- stand up and tell our political leaders that the National Rifle Association should not be in charge of our neighborhoods, streets, gun laws, and values.

1 comment:

Ajlounyinjurylaw said...

I have no tears for Trayvon Martin. I have a fear that if I start to cry, I may never stop. I might remember the many that have been killed with no justice. RIP Trayvon.