Tracy Martin, the father of Trayvon Martin, has recorded a Father's Day message encouraging families who live in states with Stand Your Ground laws to protest the controversial law.
This year's Father's Day represents the first that Martin will spend without his son, Trayvon, who was shot and killed while walking unarmed through a gated community in a quiet suburb of Orlando, Florida, earlier this year.
“I’m Tracy Martin,” he says in the beginning of the video message. “Becoming a father is a special gift; it’s a miracle of love and an everyday reminder that life can be beautiful.”
“I’ll share a prayer for all the dads throughout the nation who share this grief,” Martin says. “Last year 30,000 fathers lost a son or a daughter from senseless gun violence.”
Trayvon's killer, George Zimmerman, has been charged with second-degree murder. He has insisted he is innocent and that he shot the 17-year-old high school student in self-defense. He has invoked Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, which allows people who feel they are in imminent danger to retaliate with deadly force. Florida is one of nearly two dozen states with similar laws.
In the video, Martin asks others to contact the governors in their states to repeal Stand Your Ground laws. Zimmerman wasn’t arrested for months after the shooting because of the controversial law.
“Ask them to review these dangerous laws,” Martin says in the video. “If we do, next year thousands more dads will have a happy Father’s Day with their children and not the toughest one of their lives without them.”
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(Photo: Courtesy Martin Family)