Houstonian Corner (V14-I14)
Congressman Al Green Calls Justice Dept. in Trayvon Case
Congressman Al Green (TX-09) called for an extensive investigation into the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, who was shot in Sanford (Florida) on February 26, 2012 by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Congressman Green took part in both the rallies held during the last week in Sanford and Houston, where residents protested the wrongful shooting of the teenager and the response of the local authorities.
The day of the fatal incident, Mr. Martin, a 17 year-old young man with aspirations of attending college and becoming an aviation mechanic, was shot and killed by Mr. George Zimmerman (28) as he walked to his fatherâ€™s home after purchasing candy at a convenience store nearby. To date, Zimmerman has not been charged and claims that he shot Martin in self-defense after Martin attacked him.
This shooting has been the subject of much public scrutiny and has resulted in a national outcry by many seeking to ensure that justice is upheld. Congressman Green emphasized it is imperative that a thorough investigation is conducted. On Monday March 19, 2012, the Department of Justice announced that its Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, will conduct an independent investigation parallel to that of the local authorities in Florida.
â€œMy hope is that the investigation by the Department of Justice, along with the work of the grand jury that has been convened, will bring justice to Trayvonâ€™s family. I support that the Department of Justice investigates the February 26th shooting death of this young man and I pray that they respond appropriately,â€ said Congressman Green.
Congressman Green added that the investigation is not only for the sake of Trayvonâ€™s family and the Sanford community, but also for the entire nation, which has responded overwhelmingly through civil protests, marches, and rallies asking that justice be served. â€œA very young life has been lost. Authorities must find out exactly what happened and correct the errors or injustices that may have taken place,â€ concluded the Congressman.
Congresswoman Sheila Lee Writes AG Eric Holder Re. Trayvon
The Department of Justice has announced that it will conduct an investigation into the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder calling for an investigation of the killing of Martin, who was shot in the chest by a neighborhood watch captain named George Zimmerman. Martin was unarmed and on the way home from the convenience store, carrying a bag of Skittles and some iced tea. Many Americans, including the Houston congresswoman, believe officials should investigate further.
Below is the reaction of the Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee from Houston, once she learned an investigation would take place:
â€œYesterday I sent a letter to the Attorney General Eric Holder requesting that the Department of Justice conduct and thorough and complete federal investigation into the serious allegations made against Neighborhood Watch Captain George Zimmerman, regarding the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.â€
â€œI have placed the protection and promotion of the rights of our nationâ€™s children at the forefront of my legislative agenda, and I am deeply troubled and concerned about the rising tide of violence among Americaâ€™s children.
â€œThe Justice Departmentâ€™s Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office for the Middle District of Florida, and the FBI have all opened an investigation into the facts and circumstances of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation. The department also is providing assistance to and cooperating with the state officials in their investigation into the incident.â€
â€œWith all federal civil rights crimes, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted intentionally and with the specific intent to do something which the law forbids â€“ the highest level of intent in criminal law. Negligence, recklessness, mistakes and accidents are not prosecutable under the federal criminal civil rights laws. The Community Relations Service will be in Sanford, Fla., this week to meet with civil rights leaders, community leaders, and local law enforcement to address tension in the community.â€