BLACK CAUCUS ISSUES STATEMENT ON TRAYVON MARTIN MURDER

March 27, 2012

Family deserves justice after teen slain by self-appointed ‘crimestopper’

SACRAMENTO -- The California Legislative Black Caucus today expressed their sadness and frustration with the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, the lack of an arrest in his murder and various recent comments placing blame on the victim or his choice of clothing. Senator Curren D. Price, Jr., Chairman of the Black Caucus stated:

“The tragedy of a young man’s untimely and unfair death is being compounded each day by the hateful and hurtful comments of those seeking to deflect blame from the neighborhood vigilante who killed him, and by the failure of law enforcement officials to seek justice for his murder. There is no argument to be made that Trayvon Martin was the aggressor here. The recorded evidence clearly shows that Mr. Zimmerman pursued Trayvon Martin -- as Trayvon walked unsuspecting to his father’s home to enjoy his Skittles and iced tea -- against the explicit instructions of law enforcement.”

Ranking caucus member, Senator Roderick D. Wright (D-Inglewood) stated, “In the latest attempt to twist the facts and escape responsibility, Mr. Zimmerman’s friends are now taking to TV to claim the self-appointed ‘neighborhood watch’ enforcer was beaten by Trayvon Martin. If the ‘stand your ground’ law is to be applied to anyone in this case, it is to be applied to the scared response of a 17-year-old boy hunted down and cornered by a grown man with a gun whose motives and intentions he could not have known. Trayvon had committed no crime by walking – as a black man – through the neighborhood of a paranoid individual who fancied himself a crimestopper; an individual who called 911 as many as 50 times in a year.”

Wright further stated, “Today Mr. Zimmerman’s supporters are trying to sully the reputation of a slain teen to turn public opinion in their favor. Meanwhile, irresponsible members of the media are blaming Trayvon’s choice of clothing for his death, but we challenge you to consider whether or not Mr. Zimmerman would have pursued and confronted a white teen in a hoodie, or if he would have presumed him to be a neighbor.”