|PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA|
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committee, released the following statement today:
“Today was a questionable day as it relates to the life of a young child. America’s justice system is often viewed as coddling and protecting our children, the most vulnerable members of our society. As someone who has devoted much of my public life to advocating for the protection of children, whether from gun violence, bullying at school and in cyberspace, drugs, and unhealthy foodstuffs, I am dismayed that the Florida judicial system did not recognize and value the life of young Trayvon Martin. Trayvon’s family and friends missed him on the day he was killed and they still miss him today. They are right to wonder why others seemed to attach so little value to his life.
“The federal government stands to serve justice in cases where there is much doubt as to whether justice was done by the local authorities. I expect to join with others in discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the killing of Trayvon Martin, who was but 16 years and 21 days old when he was shot to death. I am also calling for the Congress to hold oversight hearings regarding the treatment of the killing of a juvenile in the circumstances that occurred in Sanford, Florida as well as the manner in which the criminal justice system treats victims of gun violence, especially young black male victims like Trayvon Martin.
“Many mothers tonight are praying, as I am, hopeful that things remain calm but also hoping that justice for young Trayvon Martin will be pursued.
“To the the young people who have grown to see Trayvon Martin as themselves, we encourage you to continue to invest in improving your nation, working with people of all backgrounds who feel as you do – disappointed – but will join with you in the fight for justice.
“We are all Trayvon.”
Congresswoman Corrine Brown (5th Congressional District of Florida) expresses how she's Extremely Disappointed by Verdict in Trayvon Martin Case
(Washington, DC) With regard to the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, Congresswoman Corrine Brown made the following statement:
"I am heartbroken and angered by the verdict in this decision. My prayers go out to the Martin family in their grief as they are faced to live with a justice system that has failed them, a system that did not exact even minimal punishment on the man who killed their 17 year old son.
This is a blatant example of our justice system being entirely broken. Along with the NAACP and other civil rights groups, I pledge to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws here in Florida and across the nation, and do everything within my power as a Member of Congress to put an end to racial profiling. Last year, an innocent young man was killed in Sanford, Florida while returning from a 7-11 grocery store, and the perpetrator was not even convicted of a crime...clearly, there is something very wrong with a system of justice that legally sanctions such a heinous act.
Two cases involving Stand Your Ground laws in my congressional district highlight the hypocrisy and disparities in this law's interpretation. In this case, in Sanford, a white man shot a black teenager, Trayvon Martin, and the justice system ruled it was an act of self defense under Stand Your Ground. In Jacksonville, Marissa Alexander, a young black mother fired a warning shot because she feared another possible attack by her abusive husband, yet she was not allowed a stand your ground defense during her trial. If ever there were a case where Stand Your Ground should apply, it would have been that of Marissa Alexander.
As Martin Luther King said, ‘The Arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ However, it is not going to bend until everyone gets involved and becomes active in the fight for equality and equal protection under the law. We have made progress, but still have a long way to go.”
“Only two people know exactly what happened that night, and one of them can no longer speak. What we do know is that Trayvon Martin’s parents had to bury their son because George Zimmerman saw an unarmed, black teenager and viewed him as a threat. We also know that Zimmerman’s actions – the killing arising out of suspicion, unjustified fear, and stalking of an unarmed teenager – are apparently protected by Florida’s “self-defense” laws, including the infamous “Stand Your Ground” provision.“
A study conducted by Texas A&M University found that enacting Stand Your Ground laws result in more homicides. A further study conducted by the Urban Institute and PBS show a racial bias in Stand Your Ground laws: whites who kill blacks in Stand Your Ground states are 354% more likely to be found justified in their killing than those who killed another white person.
Rep. Coleman continued:
“Unfortunately, as of 2007, Texas is also a Stand Your Ground state. I was one of only 14 Representatives to vote against the law, and it was because I understand how it makes a target out of people of color, particularly young males like Trayvon Martin. His death was tragic but unfortunately quite predictable.
That is why I am fighting to change the law back to the more reasonable standard we had prior to 2007. My bill filed this past session, House Bill 3773, would reinstate the “duty to retreat” in most situations while preserving the right to defend oneself and one’s family. There would be no requirement to retreat if an individual is in his or her own home or if the deadly force were used to stop the commission of a serious crime. The 2007 law just went too far. My bill would balance the right to self-defense with public safety. We can have reasonable self-defense laws that do not also authorize armed and untrained individuals to seek out conflicts and then fire their gun when the situation deteriorates. We have a trained police force for a reason; we do not need people “playing cop.” As long as these laws are on the books, I’m afraid there will be more Trayvon Martins.”
Statement from Mychal Massie a Hard Hitting Black Conservative on the Ugly Truth About Trayvon Martin
“There is one reason and one reason alone that Trayvon Martin is dead today and that reason is he attacked a man with a licensed firearm who used it. It’s not pretty – it’s not pleasant – but it’s true.
George Zimmerman did not jump (read attack) Martin. Just the opposite. Martin attacked him. All else notwithstanding, Martin jumped Zimmerman for no defendable reason, and he paid the ultimate price for his ill-conceived decision.
George Zimmerman did not kill Martin because of the color of his skin, and it is a damnable lie to claim otherwise. George Zimmerman shot and killed Martin because Martin was attacking and beating him. The ugly truth is just that simple. To raise the specter of skin color and to clothe the event in vestiges of racialization and a zeitgeist of rampant racism is nothing more than an attempt to obfuscate that single, salient truth.” Click here to read the entire statement from Mychal Massie. According to his blog, Mychal S. Massie is the former National Chairman of the conservative black think tank, Project 21-The National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives; and a member of its’ parent think tank, the National Center for Public Policy Research. In his official capacity with this free market public policy think tank he has spoken at the U.S. Capitol, CPAC, participated in numerous press conferences on Capitol Hill, the National Press Club and has testified concerning property rights pursuant to the “Endangered Species Act” before the Chairman of the House Committee on Resources. He has been a keynote speaker at colleges and universities nationwide, at Tea Party Rallies, at rallies supporting our troops and conservative presidents; and rally’s supporting conservative causes across the country. He is an unapologetic supporter of our right to own and carry firearms.
Statement from businessman and 2013 Candidate for Houston City Council for District D Travis McGee on the George Zimmerman "NOT GUILTY" verdict
"As a father I was very disturbed about the Trayvon Martin murder, but wasn't surprised by the verdict. I think anytime a grown man in his right mind stalks and kills a child commonsense should outweigh nonsense. In many ways history does repeat itself, because in 1955 a young man by the name of Emmett Till was not just murdered, he was also mutilated beyond recognition for merely admiring a white woman. Even though this particular event mobilized the civil rights movement 58 years later race is still playing a major role in our judicial system and society. I know Mr. Till didn't have a jury of his peers and neither did Trayvon Martin. Trayvon was actually murdered twice once by Zimmerman and then again in the Florida court room. I pray that this world we live in wouldn't see color, but instead just good and bad people. I can't began to imagine what the parents are going through on either side, but I pray for them."
Statement from businesswoman Tammi Durden on the George Zimmerman "NOT GUILTY" verdict
"Today in 2013, in The United States Of America with all of the advances in technology, a plethora of opportunities, and with all of the money that is being made -- living better than we ever have before; what kind of people have we become? Have we really become a nation where human life is devalued and overlooked? A man can be imprisoned for killing a dog, but not for murdering a human being? A young man has lost his life at no fault of his own. A mother is without her child. A father no longer has his son. The world has been cheated of the unique and special gifts that only Trayvon Martin was born with to give to the world. What a tragedy and a shame. Who have we become?"
Statement from businessman Derrick Thomas McKinney on the George Zimmerman "NOT GUILTY" verdict
"As I lay here & try to go to sleep I can’t help but feel really pissed off at the Not Guilty verdict.
I think the lack of effort from the head of DA’s office Angela Colley (I believe) was piss poor!!! Somehow she decided not to be the lead prosecutor in this case with an all women jury. But she sentenced an African American woman to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot at an abusive husband. She was forced to press charges in the Zimmerman case & went after the maximum when there apparently wasn’t enough evidence or facts for that charge. Why did they not push the issue on manslaughter?" Click here to read the entire statement from Derrick Thomas McKinney. According to his website Mr. McKinney has been very instrumental in the success of several independent labels, National recording artist, and fashion companies. FUBU, FUBU Records, J Records, Up All Nite Music (Too $hort), State Property South, Akademiks Clothing, & Makavelli Branded to name a few.
Statement from businesswoman Jill Honeck on the George Zimmerman "NOT GUILTY" verdict
"This is just not a race issue. It is a personal safety issue. I am sure Zimmerman never wanted to kill somebody. He really just did not have a choice and from everything I heard during the trial I would have done the same thing...I also am upset that people who disagree with the verdict believe they can go brake the law themselves to express that. I don't know how destroying your own community helps getting your opinion respected."
Statement from Dena Francois on the George Zimmerman "NOT GUILTY" verdict in case of Florida vs. Zimmerman
"In my opinion there was another alternative, does anyone stop to ponder what would have happened if "GZ" George Zimmerman would have offered "TM" Trayvon Martin a ride home out of the rain or offered to call his parents or simply identified himself or ask TM for Id that is what neighborhood watch is suppose to do I also know damn well the DOJ would not give this issue the time of day had it not been for the peaceful protest of people calling for more actions also this case is bigger than race to me it is about a grown man that killed a teenager regardless of what he was doing grown ups should not kill kids I don't give a damn if they purple!"
Statement from Wanda Cooper Johnson on the George Zimmerman "NOT GUILTY" verdict
"It appears the police failed to properly investigate the crime. It was one sided from the beginning. Zimmerman was not arrested. It also seems there was no real emphasis placed on why Zimmerman discharged his weapon killing a 17 year old child. Zimmerman broke the law picking a fight with Martin after the police told him to back off. So the police orders were worthless. This child's parents lived in this neighborhood and this was his home. And yes, he was profiled by Zimmerman. Did the apartment complex have an onsite security officer? Zimmerman was not representing the authorities therefore, he had no reason to stop, question, and arrest anyone let alone Martin. I believe this child was fighting for his life just like anyone else. I believe the prosecutors should have asked for a better jury selection. It just appears the prosecutors should have sought legal expertise before presenting their case. If this is Justice then what is injustice?"
We are extremely disappointed by the verdict in the case of State of Florida v. George Zimmerman. As lawyers we respect the rule of law, but in this instance the Zimmerman verdict sadly highlights the continued injustices Black Americans face in the U.S. legal system.
"The verdict," stated NBA President John E. Page "says an unarmed college-bound Black teen can be profiled, stalked, confronted and killed by an armed neighborhood watchman with hollow tip point bullets. We express our heartfelt condolences to Trayvon Martin's family on this tragic verdict. We also say 'Enough is Enough - It is NOT OK to kill our youth'."
The fact is the jury delivered a not guilty verdict. The TRUTH is justice has not been served. In these most challenging of times, we are called upon to act. We must move from outrage to action. It starts today with the NBA and YOU!
"Injustice anywhere," as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said "is a threat to justice everywhere." We have work to do to achieve justice for Trayvon Martin. As social agitators, the members of the NBA are continuing the struggle for "equal justice under the law" for Trayvon Martin. At the forefront of this struggle are NBA members Daryl Parks (Past NBA President) and Ben Crump, of the Tallahassee, Florida law firm Parks & Crump, LLC, that are representing Trayvon's family in advocating for "equal justice under the law." We proudly stand with them.
We urge the Department of Justice to act. The Department can still address the violation of Trayvon's most fundamental civil right - the right to life. Upon a thorough investigation of the matter, we expect the Department to vigorously pursue all appropriate claims.
We urge all lawyers to act. Join us in Miami, Florida on Saturday, July 27 and Monday, July 29 in a CALL TO ACTION to collectively address the affront to and devaluing of civil rights of all men and women regardless of race who have been unfairly served by the justice system. We must not allow anyone to succumb to violence at the hands of vigilantes who ferment the devaluing of human life. It is now time to stand up.
ABOUT THE NBA: The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation's oldest and largest national network of predominantly African American attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 44,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students and has over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. For additional information about the National Bar Association, visit www.nationalbar.org
1). Annise D. Parker -- Click here to visit her website!
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HOUSTON CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT C
Houston City Council Member Ellen Cohen is currently serving her first term as the Houston City Council District C representative. Council Member Cohen will be running for re-election in the Tuesday, November 5, 2013 Mayoral Election in Houston.
Mayor Annise Parker and her life partner Kathy Hubbard have been together for more than 20 years and are advocates for adoption, with two adopted daughters and a son.
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