Reporting Meghan McCorkell
WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Searching for justice. The parents of Trayvon Martin take their fight to Capitol Hill as protesters head to the nation’s capital to make their voices heard.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the case that’s caused a national uprising.
Martin’s parents told lawmakers they believe their son is the victim of racial profiling, and they want his killer behind bars.
The parents of Trayvon Martin appeared in front of lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
“He’s sadly missed and we’ll continue to fight for justice for him,” said Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin.
“Of course my heart is broken, but it breaks even more to know we have not gotten justice yet,” said Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton.
Their 17-year-old son was shot and killed walking through a gated community in Sanford, Fla. The shooter, neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, followed the teen, saying he looked suspicious. He says he fired in self-defense.
Outside the Department of Justice, members of a Maryland church urged the attorney general to prosecute the case as a hate crime. They believe Trayvon was a victim of racial profiling.
“There’s a lack of confidence in the state and local officials to do the right thing here. We believe that the full force of the federal government needs to be brought to this case,” said Mt. Ennon Baptist Church Rev. Delmon Coates.
The Trayvon Martin case has sparked a renewed call for activism across the country. Here in Baltimore on Monday, hundreds took to the streets, calling for justice. Organizer Rev. Cordly C.D. Witherspoon says the rally was just the first step in a greater movement.
“If we, as a community, come together, we can really make a difference and we can prevent our young people from being the next Trayvon Martin,” Witherspoon said.
A lawyer for the Martin family says they are pleased with the rallies and marches in support of their son. They just want to make sure the protests remain peaceful.
According to a leaked police report, George Zimmerman claims Martin punched him and bashed his head into the sidewalk before the shooting. Witness accounts support that story.