- Faith & Family
Opa-Locka — “I am Travyon,” echoed voices across the country and in the City of Opa-locka recently — it was the one-month anniversary of the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot to death by volunteer neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, as Martin walked in the rain with a bag of Skittles, a can of Arizona brand iced tea and the hood of his jacket over his head, Sunday, February 26, in Sanford, where the youth had been visiting his father.
On Monday, March 26, while thousands marched in Sanford, Opa-locka Mayor Myra L. Taylor held a morning press conference in front of the Municipal Complex building to announce that the City would unite with the chorus of institutions and individuals nationwide to stand in support of Trayvon Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin.
“Trayvon is our son, our grandson, our brother — he never had a chance at life,” Taylor said.
Like Taylor, other political figures are following the Martin case closely. Standing in solidarity with Taylor during the conference were Opa-locka City Commissioners Timothy Holmes and Gail Miller; former City of Miami Commissioner Rev. Richard P. Dunn, II; president of the African-American Council of Christian Clergy, Rev. Dr. Gregory Thompson; former Opa-locka Mayors John Riley and Rev. Joseph L. Kelley; Florida International Academy Principal Sonia Mitchell; and other other residents of the City who expressed outrage over the “useless, tragic slaying” of the unarmed youth.
Mitchell emphasized that it will take “people in power to change this situation.”
“We don’t want to see any more of our children slaughtered in the street,” she said.
Miller said, “Mr. Zimmerman is gonna get his time — Trayvon may not be here to see it, but we will be here to see it!”
“This is a sad and somber moment; it’s history repeating itself,” said Dunn, drawing parallels to the murder of Emmett Till. “There is no doubt in my mind that this [Martin’s murder] was racial profiling at its worst.”
Riley empathized with young Martin by sharing his experience on being stopped because he was Black and driving a “suspicious vehicle (a luxury Lincoln).”
“What was suspicious about that?” he asked. “Because I was driving it?”