NBLSA Speaks out Against the Trayvon Martin Travesty
On February 26, 2012, a national call to action was set in motion. While in Orlando, Florida, a young boy was walking home after visiting a local convenience store; the events that followed serve as a horrific reminder of the ongoing impact of racial profiling and discrimination in this country. A neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, called the police to express his "concerns" about this 17 year old Black teenage boy, later identified as Trayvon Martin, whom he described as "look[ing] like he's up to no good or. . . on drugs or something."
As substantiated by the 911 calls, the emergency respondent explicitly told Zimmerman not to follow Martin. However, he did not listen. Instead he initiated contact with Martin after mentioning that "they always get away." Zimmerman proceeded to attack Trayvon-killing him with one fatal gunshot. Zimmerman has raised the theory of self-defense; despite the fact that he weighs 250 lbs and Martin weighed 140lbs. Martin's family and girlfriend rebut Zimmerman's self-defense claim, stating that the cries on the 911 tapes belong to Trayvon and prove otherwise.
According to several sources, The Department of Justice and FBI have begun an investigation into the case of Trayvon Martin's murder; additionally, a state grand jury will investigate the incident. This case is devastating, but the situation becomes more exacerbated when one considers that Trayvon's shooter has yet to be arrested or even thoroughly questioned. After admitting to shooting Trayvon, Zimmerman claimed self-defense and has yet to be charged with a crime at this point.
Almost three weeks have passed and justice is still being denied to Trayvon and his family. We, as the members of the National Black Law Students Association, must take action. There is no better time than the present to discuss issues of racism and the shortfalls of the criminal justice system. If the fight is truly for justice, voicing our opinions to officials who can implement this change is imperative. Several chapters, including FAMU BLSA have already spoken out against the injustices: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/the-grio/46784755#46784755. Find out more at http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-17-year-old-trayvon-martin
Click here to download NBLSA's official press release.