On February 26th, 2012 Trayvon Martin was walking home when he was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer. Trayvon was visiting his father and walked through a neighborhood that had been recently victimized by robberies to get some candy and soda from the market. Zimmerman followed Trayvon after calling the Sanford Police for Trayvon’s alleged suspicious behavior which was his apparel—a hooded sweatshirt.
There was an altercation between the two individuals in which Martin was shot and killed. George Zimmerman was eventually charged and tried in Martin’s death. In July of 2013, the jury acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder and of manslaughter.
The death of Trayvon Martin sparked national debates about racial profiling and the controversial Stand Your Ground Law. One of these debates occurred at the University of Utah. The following is a recording of that debate and conversation with the mother of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton.
In January 2014, The University of Utah led its week-long Martin Luther King Junior celebration with the theme “Beneath the Hoodie: A Look at Racial Profiling in America”.
Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin came to the University of Utah to hold a panel discussion with the faculty members and students moderated by Erika George – Professor and Co-Director Center for Global Justice, for the College of Law at the University of Utah.
Sybrina Fulton takes the podium with no notes or papers in hand, opting to choose to speak from the heart. Sybrina doesn’t speak as a civil rights activist, but as a mother who lost her son to injustice because of the color of his skin. After saying what was on her mind, she and Erika open the conversation to debate and a question and answer segment.
In a world where there is still debate over whether #blacklivesmatter or #alllivesmatter, now more than ever does Sybrina Fulton’s sentiments and thoughts need to be heard.
Rest in Peace , Trayvon Benjamin Martin.
(February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012)