The parents of Trayvon Martin, the black teenage boy who was killed by a neighborhood watchman, are expected to attend a congressional forum that will discuss the “Stand Your Ground” law and hate crime.
Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, parents of Trayvon Martin, will attend a forum Tuesday on Capitol Hill, where Democratic lawmakers will explore hate crimes and racial profiling. The bereaved couple’s visit to the U.S. capital comes in the wake of a nationwide cry over the murder of their unarmed 17-year-old son, Trayvon Martin, on February 26.
The forum in Washington, sponsored by Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, is a briefing on racial profiling and hate crime. The forum is expected to assess the role of the federal government in those issues, specifically in Trayvon Martin's murder case.
Trayvon Martin was gunned down by self-appointed neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on the grounds that he looked suspicious. The whole nation reacted to his death, labeling it a case of hate crime. However, Zimmerman’s attorney claimed that it was entirely an act of self-defense.
Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton told reporters that their son, Trayvon Martin, who was wearing a hoodie and walking in a gated Florida community on a rainy February night, aroused George Zimmerman's suspicions because of his race.
Meanwhile, two House Democrats, minority leader Perry Thurston and Rep. Geraldine Thompson, have asked Speaker Dean Cannon to call a special session for review of the "Stand Your Ground" self-defense laws.
Cannon's spokeswoman, Katie Betta, said in an email that there were still too many unanswered questions in the death case of Trayvon Martin.
"Speaker Cannon feels that legislative action is premature at this point given the ongoing investigations as well as the upcoming convening of the Seminole County Grand Jury," spokeswoman Betta said. "Speaker Cannon will be closely monitoring the situation and any new developments that may arise in the case. He will also make recommendations to Governor Scott regarding appointments to the Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection which will review the 'Stand Your Ground' law following the investigation by the special prosecutor."
The congressional forum will begin at 3pm on Tuesday. Among those scheduled to speak include Albert E. Dotson Jr., Chairman of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc., and Robert Parker, former Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department and Community Liaison for the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence project.
Neither Sybrina Fulton nor Tracy Martin is expected to speak at the forum, although their lawyer, Benjamin Crump, will.