Unable to fight back tears, the parents of Trayvon Martin stood beside Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and relatives of Chicago area murder victims on Saturday to stress the need to end senseless gun violence.
Trayvon’s mother Sybrina Fulton spoke:
“We are the voice of Trayvon Martin...He’s not here to speak for himself so we as his parents have decided instead of sitting back and not doing anything, this is what we have decided to do, to help our community and to help other parents.”
According to the Miami Herald, as she spoke about her son, Fulton also detailed her family’s Justice for Trayvon Foundation, which helps teens identify signs of racial profiling. She also called on Congress to amend Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, which allows a person in fear of bodily harm to use force, even deadly force, in the face of a perceived threat.
On Saturday, Tracy Martin recalled the day he learned his son was gunned down.
By law, the Florida-based county morgue couldn’t let the elder Martin see the body. Instead, he was forced to identify his son by gruesome crime scene photos.
Tracy Martin spoke at the Rainbow PUSH headquarters on 930 East 50th Street in Chicago:
“As any of you know as parents, or family members of slain victims, to look at a crime scene photo, it’s very disturbing...That was certainly very disturbing to just see that picture of my son on the ground dead. That will be ingrained in my memory for the rest of my life.”
Rev. Jackson said it’s time to “stop the killing,” pointing out that nearly 30,000 people in the country die from gun violence each year.
Jackson and Trayvon’s parents were joined by the loved ones of Rekia Boyd, a woman who was allegedly shot to death by an off-duty Chicago Police officer in March, and Stephon Watts, an autistic 15-year-old boy who was allegedly killed by police in his south suburban home after the boy’s father called for help in February.
Tracy Martin turned to Watts’ father and offered his condolences:
“From father to father, I feel your pain. I know that...Continue to have faith and just lean on your better half. And if you have doubt, lean on God.”
Throughout this entire ordeal both Tracy and Sybrina have been staying strong, offering their support to those who've also lost their children to senseless violence. We applaud them.