"My darkest hour"
Yesterday our hearts went out to Trayvon Martin's mother, who tweeted this: "Lord during my darkest hour I lean on you. You are all that I have...Thank you all for your prayers and support... I will love you forever Trayvon!!!" ~ Sybrina Fulton, July 14, 2013
As mothers, we stand with Sybrina Fulton. We stand for advancing gun safety policies, for ending racial profiling, and for eliminating dangerous laws, like the "stand your ground" law in Florida, all of which contributed to Trayvon Martin's untimely death at age 17. In February of 2012, George Zimmerman admittedly followed Trayvon Martin, even after the authorities told him not to, and then killed the 17 year old. It took 45 days for Sanford, Florida police to arrest Zimmerman — and only 16 hours for jurors to acquit him of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
*Join us in urging the Department of Justice to bring federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman. http://action.momsrising.org/sign/JusticeForTrayvon/
We were shocked with this verdict, especially given that "[m]anslaughter, which under Florida law is typically added as a lesser charge if either side requests it, was a lower bar. Jurors needed to decide only that Mr. Zimmerman put himself in a situation that culminated in Mr. Martin’s death." ~ New York Times
The appalling reality is that there are huge racial disparities within our criminal justice system. According to an Urban Institute study, when white shooters kill black victims, 34 percent of the resulting homicides are deemed justifiable, while only 3 percent of deaths are ruled justifiable when the shooter is black and the victim is white.
*The Department of Justice can bring federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman. Join us in supporting the call for justice: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/JusticeForTrayvon/
Last year, tens of thousands of MomsRising members joined millions of people in an outpouring of support for Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton. We urged the State of Florida to arrest and charge Trayvon's killer, and also urged the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to intervene and investigate the case. That massive demand for justice led to the eventual arrest and indictment of the admitted killer, George Zimmerman. Since then, the DOJ has closely monitored the state's case against Zimmerman, and federal civil rights charges can still be brought against him.
We need to keep the pressure on. Our voices have made a difference in the past and when the DOJ takes action, justice is possible. We saw this in 2011, when the DOJ successfully prosecuted and convicted the killers of two unarmed men during the aftermath of Katrina. That didn't happen without pressure from moms, dads and community members raising their voices for justice. Together we can work to bring about justice again, this time for Trayvon Martin.
*A jury has acquitted George Zimmerman, but WE are not done demanding justice for Trayvon. Urge the Department of Justice to bring federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/JusticeForTrayvon/
MomsRising has long stood for gun violence prevention as well as for fair treatment and equality for all families in our country. We support civil rights leaders NAACP and ColorOfChange in their request for the Department of Justice to bring federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman. Too many of us could be Trayvon Martin's mom--and one child killed is too many. It's time to move gun safety and anti-racial profiling policies and laws forward, as well as to work for a criminal justice system where everyone is treated fairly. Today, Trayvon Martin’s parents sent this message, "We will not let this verdict define Trayvon." We won't either.
Together, we are a strong force for women and families.