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March 19, 2012
Civil Rights Group Launches Campaign Urging the U.S. Department of Justice to Arrest Trayvon Martin's killer and Investigate the Sanford Police Department
March 19, 2012
New York, NY – Civil rights group ColorOfChange.org today launched a campaign calling on the US Department of Justice to take over the case of Trayvon Martin, arrest Martin's killer, and launch an independent investigation into the Sanford Police Department's unwillingness to protect Martin's civil rights.
In an email to members, the organization makes the case that Sanford police botched their questioning of Zimmerman, the self-appointed neighborhood watch captain who killed Martin. ColorOfChange members are now signing a petition calling on federal intervention on the grounds that Sanford police refused to take the full statements of witnesses and pressured neighbors to side with the shooter's claim of self-defense.
"The tragic killing of Trayvon Martin and subsequent mishandling of this case by Sanford police is yet another reminder that to some, simply being Black in America is a crime." said ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson. "While the campaign for justice in this case will not bring back Trayvon, this is an opportunity for people of all races to stand with his family and families across the country who have seen the impact of a justice system that places so little values on the lives and dignity of Black people."
Sanford's police department has a history of failing to hold perpetrators accountable for violent acts against Black victims. In 2010, the son of a police officer went free after beating a Black homeless man unprovoked. Five years earlier, two security guards went unpunished after killing a Black teenager who was dropping friends off at their homes.
The State Attorney's office has rubber-stamped the Sanford police's questionable investigation, claiming that there is not enough evidence to support even a manslaughter conviction.
"The ColorOfChange community sends its deepest condolences to Trayvon's family," Robinson said. "It shouldn't be a privilege for anyone to safely buy candy and soda at their neighborhood store. It is time for the Justice Department to step in and ensure that the rule of law is applied."
With more than 800,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest African-American online civil rights organization.