Justice in Florida: Investigation of Trayvon Martin’s Death and Police Response Must Be Fair, Thorough, Unbiased

Tens of thousands of people were in Sanford, Florida, last night — coming together over the tragedy of the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. (Pictured above, from left to right: Rev. Al Sharpton, Joyce Hamilton Henry and Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, at the gathering.)

National political, social and media leaders joined the Martin family in seeking justice and speaking to and for a community in pain. As Mid-Florida Regional Director of the ACLU, I was there and I can tell you that the emotion and energy in the crowd was intense as they demanded justice for Trayvon.

In the hours before and since the rally last night, two events unfolded which will shape this ongoing situation: it was announced that a state attorney from outside the area will help lead the official inquiry, and Sanford’s Police Chief, Bill Lee, announced he would temporarily step aside.

Early on, we highlighted the need for an unbiased, professional, thorough outside investigation into the shooting and called on state and federal leaders to act. Thankfully, the FBI, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Department of Justice have announced that they will undertake an investigation. These agencies should investigate not only what happened to Trayvon, but the response of local law enforcement to his killing. With the addition of outside eyes on the Martin shooting, we don’t want to lose sight of the need to not only uncover what happened that tragic night but also review the initial local investigation itself. Unanswered and very troubling questions about the police response remain.

Bringing in a state attorney from outside Sanford is clearly a hopeful  development and their  expected professionalism will help the FBI and FDLE conduct the fair and objective investigation that is needed. The governor and law enforcement leaders deserve credit for making this happen.

Now that outside experts are looking over the evidence and hopefully reviewing the investigation itself, we must give them the room they need to do the job right.

Justice is best served in this tragedy by a thorough and unbiased investigation of both the shooting and the initial investigation by the Sanford Police Department. TAKE ACTION: Please join us in calling on Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to ensure that this investigation is done right. We deserve fair, thorough and unbiased answers.

Learn more about policing: Sign up for breaking news alerts, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Add a comment (3)
Read the Terms of Use

Anonymous

My family was discussing the 911 call with shouts for HELP being screamed from somewhere outside. Investigators are saying that it is not Zimmerman but have no way of checking if it matched Treyvon.
I wanted to get these questions out; how about the recorded message on his cell phone? Did he leave recorded messages on anyone else's cell phone? Maybe longer ones for his girlfriend? Any videos of events at school that someone might of recorded?
Please try and get these questions to someone who can help.

Anonymous

Looking to Angela Corey to procecute? She has destroyed so many lives, deliberately dismissing and releasing Howard Shafer and violent felon and then ignoring our please when out on bail he threatened us in person, in writing and at our home and he even jump into an elevator inside the court house...why?.....the banker held a fundraiser for her while she was being investigated and Mr Shafer was an eyewitness and co-criminal with same banker...protecting her filthy rich republican friends and judges and bankers! The same bankers who seeded the Jacksonville Tea Party! Dont believe it? Floow the dollar....Jay Fant owns bank chairman of city board give brand new Teaparty president a "consulting job for the city of Jacksonville". A new job that would collect tax payer money for use for the Tea Party or at least pay her bills while she works for the Tea Party! Same guy owned recently siezed by FDIC First Guaranty Bank. Howard S. Shafer a sex offender felon was arrested by democratic state attoreny for grand theft in excess of 100k for a theft that involved bank insiders, bank insiders hold fund raiser for angels Corey in middleburg Florida...where there are zero first guaranty banks....Angela Corey wins election...Charges are dropped against Mr Shafer before he has a chance to testify or "for some reason" even be interviewed as to what role bank insiders played, he professed this inside his bankruptcy hearing! So....Im just saying keep both eyes on Angela Corey cause she knows how to look the other way ANYTIME SHE WANTS TO!

Anonymous

What now? What do we do now? This verdict of not guilty is unacceptle.

Sign Up for Breaking News