Trayvon Martin Supporters March in 100 Cities
Barrington M. Salmon | 7/24/2013, noon
“My heart sunk. First was the sorrow and remorse of the death of a 17-year-old unarmed kid really,” said Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Washington Bureau and senior vice president for policy and advocacy. “My oldest son is 17 and my other sons are 13 and 8. It just hit me so hard and I cried tears of fear. When you heard the details, it made you think of the judge [Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney] who said there were no laws affecting black people that a white man had to honor.”
“I felt outrage, fear and deep concern of them taking the word of [Zimmerman]. I was also hurt by the reckless way they handled the young man and the amount of time they took to arrest Zimmerman.”
Shelton said the murder elicited pain.
“But the final outrage was the decision,” he said. “Even after the facts were brought, they made that decision. The law does not protect us. He was followed, provoked and shot to death. It was one shot but the shot was carefully aimed to shoot him in the heart.”
But he’s heartened by the strong reaction and response by blacks, whites, Asians and people of other ethnicities who have stood up to denounce the July 13 verdict.
“That’s important,” Shelton said.
WI Writer Sam P.K. Collins contributed to this story.