The Congressional Black Caucus Calls for Department of Justice Investigation Into the Shooting Death of Trayvon Martin

Washington, DC – Chairman Emanuel Cleaver II, released the following statement regarding the shooting death of Trayvon Martin calling for the Justice Department to investigate:

“On February 26, 2012 Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, 17 year-old African American boy, was shot and killed while walking home from a local 7-Eleven. He only had $22, skittles and a can of iced tea in his possession. Trayvon, who had no criminal record, was described by his teacher as an ‘A and B student who majored in cheerfulness’. The gunman, self-appointed neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, admits to killing Trayvon, but claims he was acting in self-defense. Three weeks after Martin’s death, Zimmerman was never arrested and remains free. I am outraged by the way in which this case has been handled by the Sanford Police Department in Florida. Those who are meant to protect us and our children have blatantly turned their backs on fairness and justice.  Despite the heroic efforts of Congresswoman Corrine Brown to help bring justice to this family and surrounding community, the Sanford Police Department has shown blatant disregard for justice.

“We urge the Department of Justice to immediately and thoroughly investigate the shooting death of Trayvon Martin as a hate crime.  This case compromises the integrity of our legal system and sets a horrific precedent of vigilante justice. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus stand together in the name of justice for Trayvon. As a nation we cannot, should not, and will not ignore, Trayvon’s brutal murder and the inconceivable fact that his killer remains free.

“Contrary to the flippant way this case has been handled, his life had meaning and purpose. Trayvon had a family, friends and a future all taken away because of the color of his skin. We will not stop until justice for Trayvon is served because a life is a terrible thing to take.”

- Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II

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