The mother of slain black teenager Trayvon Martin told a convention of civil rights activists that she wants them to use the case to prevent a similar tragedy elsewhere.
Speaking Friday to the National Urban League convention in Philadelphia, Sybrina Fulton called on the group to fight against “stand your ground” laws, which she and others have blamed for the death of Martin, 17, shot in a Florida altercation with George Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer.
Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges this month by a six-person Florida jury. His legal team argued that Zimmerman shot the unarmed Martin in self-defense after a confrontation Feb. 26, 2012, in a gated community in Sanford.
“My message to you is please use my story, please use my tragedy, please use my broken heart to say to yourself, ‘We cannot let this happen to anybody else’s child,’ ” Fulton said in televised remarks.
The acquittal has touched off demonstrations across the country and calls by civil rights leaders to repeal the expansive “stand your ground” laws. Zimmerman had waived his right to a special hearing under the Florida law.
Fulton said she was encouraged that her message was being heard. She said that on her way to the conference, she handed a card with her son’s photograph to a cabdriver, who told her, “That’s my son too.”
“So my message is coming across, and it’s coming across the right way,” Fulton said.
Earlier Friday, a juror who voted to acquit Zimmerman told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she feels like she let down Martin’s parents. Juror B29 said in the taped interview that the panel couldn’t find enough evidence under Florida law to convict Zimmerman.