Nationwide, there has been outpouring of grief mixed with outrage resulting from the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Trayvon’s father Tracy Martin was recently interviewed by FCN Staff Writer Jesse Muhammad, who has covered the case for the newspaper.
Final Call Newspaper (FCN): You and Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, recently went before a Congressional panel in Washington, D.C. to continue demanding justice. What is the U.S. Justice Department saying to you regarding their investigation?
Tracy Martin (TM): Well they are really not saying anything to us at this point and haven’t disclosed any information to us related to their investigation into the murder of our son. All we can do is assume that they and the special prosecutor are really working diligently to get to the bottom of this so justice will be served. So all we can do is have faith, whatever that is, in the system. But it’s tough because our son is
gone and it is taking this long to get an arrest of (George) Zimmerman.
FCN: Are you at all shocked that Mr. Zimmerman has not been arrested? What do you think this says about the U.S. justice system?
TM: Honestly, it’s terrifying that this man has yet to be arrested after outright killing our son. We all know that if Trayvon had been the triggerman and Zimmerman had been the victim, we would be visiting our son behind bars. Trayvon would not have been able to claim it was self-defense and he would have been arrested that very night.
Our son was racially profiled, murdered and he was taken away from us. This is outrageous. However, we know that this is the type of society we live in. A society governed by a flawed justice system. There are so many cases like this that many parents in this country have gone through and it has just been swept under the rug. But we can’t and will not stop fighting for justice for Trayvon. It’s painful and hurtful but I vowed to not let his death be in vain.
FCN: There is now an onslaught of articles circulating online attempting to smear the character of Trayvon. What was your son really like? Do you think this is a tactic to detour people from focusing on the real issues related to this case?
TM: I love my son and he was a wonderful gift just like any child is a gift to any other father. We know in this world you have those who play checkerboard tactics to pit the good versus the bad. But I as a father will not standby and allow them to smear his character. I will stand tall on his name.
What is the significance of them attempting to smear my son’s image? They want to accuse him of doing certain things when the focus should be on the fact that my son was murdered by Zimmerman. These are political games but our son’s death is serious. What many in the press choose to deal with in terms of that smear campaign is irrelevant to the crime committed by Zimmerman. My question to them is out of all of the accusations they are making against Trayvon’s character was he doing any of that the night he was killed? Was he doing anything wrong the night that Zimmerman murdered him? And the answer is no. We will not be detoured from the fight for justice regardless of what some in the media may say. We’re standing up for Trayvon.
FCN: Many people want to see different things done as a result of this horrendous shooting death. What do you as the parents want to see take place?
TM: Justice for us would be to have George Zimmerman caught, handcuffed, arrested, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and charged for the murder of Trayvon. We want nothing less than that.
FCN: Lastly, you described how painful it has been on you and his mother since the night of Feb. 26. How important is the support you all are receiving from around the globe?
TM: Yes, it has taken a mental toll and we refuse to stop. And the support has been touching. The support of everyone is like the crutch that we are leaning on. The support of the world is keeping us going. We appreciate what everyone is doing to help get justice for our son. His death will not be in vain and you all are helping to make sure of that.
FCN: Thank you
(On March 29, Trayvon’s father, spoke with members of the Nation of Islam’s legal team on Attorney Ava Muhammad’s talk show “Elevated Places.” Hear portions of this interview at www.FinalCall.com/Trayvon/ )