First Anniversary of Trayvon Martin's Death
2/26/2013, 10:29 a.m.
Trayvon Martin was killed one ago year on Tuesday by George Zimmerman, the volunteer neighborhood watch guard who claims to have shot the 16-year-old boy in self-defense. Zimmerman was charged with murder and remains in custody while awaiting trial.
To mark the first anniversary of their son's death, Trayvon's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, will participate in a vigil Tuesday evening in Manhattan as they continue to crusade for stricter gun laws. Also on Tuesday, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) re-introduced her bill to re-establish a popular federal grant program aimed at reducing racial profiling.
Norton's bill permits states to apply for grants to develop racial profiling laws, collect and maintain data on traffic stops, fashion programs to reduce racial profiling, and to train law enforcement officers.
Nearly half of the states participated in the program when it was in existence, which, Norton said, shows both the need and interest in tackling this civil rights issue.
Norton had the program included in the surface transportation law in 2005, but the program expired in 2009. Norton, a former chairperson of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, will try to get her bill included in the surface transportation bill Congress will be writing during this congressional session.
Meanwhile, the case which went on to draw national attention, focusing in part, on race relations. In addition, more photos, evidence and a new lawsuit tied to the case have emerged in recent months.
Trayvon and Zimmerman's paths crossed on Feb. 26, 2012, as the unarmed teenager was walking along eating a bag of Skittles in the moderate Sanford, Fla., community where his father lived. He was approached by Zimmerman and a tussle ensued.
Attorneys for Trayvon's family have accused Zimmerman of racially profiling the youth and shooting him "in cold blood." Zimmerman, who has insisted that Trayvon attacked him, said he is a victim, and that he had no choice but to shoot him.
During an April 29 hearing, Zimmerman's attorney plans to invoke the Stand Your Ground law, where a Florida judge could determine if the law applied to Zimmerman, possibly granting him immunity and averting a criminal trial.
"We just want to have that trial, and let the jury decide," Fulton told CNN. "And whatever decision comes out of that, we're going to accept that. We may not like it, but we're going to accept it."
(Sources: CNN, Reuters), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton's Statement)