Parents mark anniversary of Trayvon Martin death at New York City vigil

SANFORD, Fla./NEW YORK Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:29am EST

1 of 5. Tracy Martin (L) and Sybrina Fulton, the parents of Trayvon Martin, listen to testimony during a bond hearing for George Zimmerman at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center in Sanford, Florida, in this June 29, 2012 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Joe Burbank/Pool/Files

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SANFORD, Fla./NEW YORK (Reuters) - One year after the fatal Florida shooting of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin sparked national debate about gun laws and racial profiling, his parents prepared for a solemn vigil in Manhattan on Tuesday as they continue to crusade for stricter gun laws.

Meanwhile, George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Martin during an altercation, remained out of sight, preparing for the possibility of a high-profile murder trial scheduled for June in Florida.

Martin's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, and their attorney, Benjamin Crump, said his death last February 26 in the Orlando suburb of Sanford has altered the debate about Stand Your Ground gun laws.

Florida's Stand Your Ground law, passed in 2005, allows people to use lethal force in self-defense if they are in fear of serious bodily harm. More than 20 states have since passed similar laws.

"This is the first time in about five years that there has been no new Stand Your Ground laws enacted in any other states in America," Crump told CNN Tuesday.

"So I say that is a plus for the advocacy for Trayvon Martin," Crump said. "This time last year nobody knew about this little-known law called Stand Your Ground but now everybody knows about it."

Crump called it "asinine that you can ... shoot and kill an unarmed kid and say Stand Your Ground, and go home and sleep in your bed at night."

Police cited that law in initially refusing to arrest Zimmerman, which sparked celebrity protests and popular demonstrations across the country, turning the case into international story.

Amid the controversy, the Sanford police chief stepped down and Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed a special prosecutor who charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder. A judge granted him bail and ordered him to remain in Florida pending trial.

Zimmerman's attorney plans to invoke the Stand Your Ground law at an April 29 hearing at which a Florida judge could determine if the law applied to Zimmerman, possibly granting him immunity and averting a criminal trial.

"We just want to have that trial, and let the jury decide," Fulton, the teen's mother, told CNN. "And whatever decision comes out of that, we're going to accept that. "We may not like it, but we're going to accept it."

In Sanford, several dozen people will gather for a candlelight vigil near the time - 7:15 p.m. - when Martin, 17, was shot.

(Editing by Daniel Trotta and Nick Zieminski)

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Comments (4)
Humankind wrote:
Very biased article propagating assumptions people put forth as reality.

Feb 25, 2013 11:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ccharles wrote:
the kid was a thug… and whats a white hispanic? Anything to put a racial twist on this. It almost as stupid as when i read rodney king was beat up by a racailly bias LA police force just because he was black… and not because he was a crack head wasted POS. And now it is to be believed that in 1990′s there was still this KKK attitude that held back blacks while black history month tells us they made everything in the world while being held back. Rock the heck on.

This trayvon thing is exactly what it looks like. A young thug was out on the prowl and came up on someone that wasnt just going to stand by. He let him know he saw him lurking in the niegborhood. Trayvon went to trying to shake him, and when he saw that wasnt workin, he decided to jump him. That was the wrong move and his last. The actions immediatly after the incident shows where the parents are coming from. Dont know why they arnt being charged with releasing a menance on society.

Feb 26, 2013 6:10am EST  --  Report as abuse
stambo2001 wrote:
Wow, more and more garbage journalism printing speculation as fact. If parents are responsible for their children’s upbringing then this Fulton woman has a lot to answer for.

Zimmerman WAS part of the neighbourhood watch, if anybody would be following someone unknown in the neighbourhood should it not be the neighbourhood watch? There WERE ‘black’ youths committing break-ins in the community. Trayvon did NOT live there, and was ‘visiting’ because he was once AGAIN suspended from school for criminal behavior. If black youths are committing break-ins and the neighbourhood watch sees an unknown black youth walking around at night who wouldn’t watch and follow him? Nutcases.

Oh but wee little ‘nolimitnigga’ is innocent because he was 17?!? Really? So there are not any 17 years olds that commit violent crimes? Really?!? What world do you deluded fools live in?

Feb 26, 2013 6:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
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