Trayvon’s Parents Say They Prefer the High Road as Zimmerman Seeks to Tell His Side

Parents of the slain teenager say they want to raise awareness regarding Stand Your Ground laws around the country.

Posted: 06/21/2012 06:35 PM EDT
Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin

NEW ORLEANS — While an avalanche of information was released by the lawyers for George Zimmerman, the parents of Trayvon Martin said they remain fixed on their central goals: raising consciousness about racial profiling and combating Stand Your Ground laws that have been enacted throughout the country.

“We are committed to accomplishing certain things that are important to us,” said Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old high school student who was shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Martin spoke with during the convention of the National Association of Black Journalists in New Orleans. Both parents spoke at the gathering.

His comments came just hours after the lawyers for Zimmerman released a large number of documents and recordings aimed at portraying his side of the case. The lawyers released written statements by Zimmerman following his shooting of the unarmed teenager.

The lawyers also released a number of audio and video recordings of interviews with investigators in which Zimmerman states that he was attacked by the teenager and hit violently to a degree that his head “felt like it was going to explode” and that the teenager had covered his nose and mouth before reaching for Zimmerman’s 9mm gun.

The release of the material is the first time the public has heard Zimmerman’s account of the events that took place on that February evening in a suburb of Orlando, Florida, when Trayvon Martin was killed. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing. He has claimed that the shooting was in self-defense and has invoked Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, the law that entitles people to use deadly force if they consider themselves to be in danger.

Benjamin Crump, one of the lawyers for Trayvon Martin’s parents, largely sidestepped questions related to the release of the material from Zimmerman’s lawyers. He said he wanted to do nothing to interfere with the trial, but added that “drabs of information coming out don’t paint a complete picture.”

Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, said he and the teenager’s mother preferred to take the high road and to concentrate on the objectives of a foundation they have founded in honor of their son.

“All we want is to get justice for our son,” he said. ”And we want to invest our energy in activities that ensure that his won’t happen to any other teenager.”

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