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Justice for Trayvon Martin

caines | 3/22/2012, 5 a.m.

Grieving parents continue looking for answers

The shooting and death of Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin, 17, has come under the purview of the Justice Departments Civil Rights Division three weeks after the unarmed youth was killed by a neighborhood watchman who claims he was acting in self defense. Trayvon and his father, Tracy Martin, were on vacation in Sanford, just north of Orlando, when the former Michael Krop Senior High School student was confronted by George Zimmerman, 28, who had called the police on numerous occasions because of what he allegedly referred to as suspicious sightings. Zimmerman was initially questioned by local authorities but was neither arrested nor charged, invoking Floridas contentious Stand Your Ground Law as the justification for shooting the youth. Martin was found with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea. Sanford police released the 911 tapes late Friday night that shed more light on the encounter between Martin and Zimmerman as well as the slain boys final living moments. On Monday, the Justice Department, the FBI the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Middle District of Florida, decided to conduct an investigation into the shooting after being bombarded by a slew of complaints. Meanwhile, the parents of Trayvon Martin have secured the services of Attorney Ben Crump and are preparing for a showdown in Sanford next Monday, March 26th, when they will go before the city officials in Sanford to officially lodge their complaints and to participate in a protest rally that appears to be growing in size with each passing day. As this story went to press, Crump said a petition calling for Zimmermans arrest had already garnered close to 500,000 signatures.

Father says police continue to lie

In an interview with Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, along with their attorney, Martin says he believes justice will only be served if federal officials lead the way in the investigation. Several people from the Sanford Police Department have lied to us they lied to us from the beginning and so its hard to have confidence in the system, he said. When one detective spoke with me I asked him if they had conducted a background check on the shooter [Zimmerman] and was told that his record was clean. But now we hear that isnt the case. They did check my sons background and found, as I had indicated, that he did not have a police record. Our son was murdered and it was an act of injustice. Our son didnt do anything to deserve this. Everyone home in Miami is behind us and, like us, want to see this guy arrested and charged. Trayvons fate has been decided but his murderer continues to walk the streets. Both parents live in Miami-Dade County, but Fulton was raising Martin in Miami Gardens as a single mother. Martin was visiting his girlfriend with his son in Sanford when the tragic shooting occurred. Both parents say they were working together to raise their son. They add that they were devastated when they heard the 911 tapes. The case continues to gain national attention, dominating headlines across the country. Letters of support have been sent to the family while some have demanded a thorough investigation by unbiased legal officials.