The mother of slain teenager Trayvon Martin told a National Urban League crowd in Philadelphia on Friday to use her tragedy to stop the same thing from happening to another child.
Saying she blamed Florida’s “stand your ground” law for allowing her son’s killer to go free, Sybrina Fulton issued a call to action against “stand your ground” self-defense laws and told the supportive audience that she believes God is using her and her family to make a difference.
She also told a touching story that occurred on the way to the civil rights organization’s annual conference. She handed a card bearing her son’s photograph to a driver and he told her, “That’s my son, too.”
“So my message is coming across, and it’s coming across the right way,” Fulton told attendees. “My message to you is please use my story, please use my tragedy, please use my broken heart to say to yourself, `We cannot let this happen to anybody else’s child.’”
Fulton supports an investigation into whether her son’s killer, George Zimmerman, could be charged under federal civil rights laws and she blamed Florida’s “stand your ground” law for having “prevented the person who shot and killed my son to be held accountable and to pay for his awful crime.”
A jury acquitted George Zimmerman of all criminal counts in the murder of the unarmed 17-year-old. Martin was shot and killed during a confrontation with Zimmerman that has spawned a national debate about “stand your ground” laws in Florida and other states.