- Views & Opinions
As George Zimmerman went on trial June 24 in Florida in the death of their son, the parents of Trayvon Martin issued a statement, as did family attorney Benjamin Crump.
With the jury selected for the trial in Sanford, Fla., opening statements were set for June 24 in the trial of Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of second-degree murder for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
The killing on Feb. 26, 2012, sparked controversy nationwide over racism, gun violence, 2nd Amendment freedoms and Florida’s Stand Your Ground gun law.
Zimmerman, 29, maintains that he acted in self-defense in shooting the 17-year-old Martin in the central Florida community of Sanford. And initially, law enforcement chose not to prosecute Zimmerman.
Crump said, “A murder trial is a very emotional matter, but Trayvon’s parents understand that the jury will have to hear all of the evidence and base their verdict on that evidence. We think that this is a simple case. There are two important facts in this case. No. 1, George Zimmerman was a grown man with a gun, and No. 2, Trayvon Martin was a minor who had no blood on his hands. Literally he had no blood on his hands. There was none of George Zimmerman’s DNA found on Trayvon Martin’s hands or underneath his fingernails. We believe the evidence is overwhelming to hold George Zimmerman accountable for killing Trayvon Martin. As these formal proceedings begin, which Tracy and Sybrina have over the last year and a half fought so hard to get to, we understand that now it is time for the jury to do their duty and base the verdict and their decision on the evidence, the instructions of the court and the law.”
Sybrina Fulton said, “I’m here today as Trayvon Martin’s mother. As I have been every day, I will be attending this court to try to get justice for my son. I ask that you pray for me and my family because I don’t want any other mother to have to experience what I’m going through now.”
Father Tracy Martin said, “As the court proceedings continue today, we as a family look to and cherish and hold onto the memories that Trayvon left us with. As we enter the courtroom today in seeking justice for our son, we hold onto his smile which strengthens us and we ask that you all continue to pray for us.”