WASHINGTON D.C. -- Speaking as Chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus, Cleveland Rep. Marcia Fudge is speaking out about the Zimmerman acquittal in the Trayvon Martin killing.
She said, "One year ago, as the story of Trayvon Martin rose to national prominence, thousands of Americans across this country felt the pain of the Martin family. This weekend when the not guilty verdict was delivered, we all felt it once again. Trayvon was an innocent teenager who died because George Zimmerman chose to take the law into his own hands. Trayvon was neither on trial in this case, nor was he responsible for his own death, and it should never be assumed or accepted that he was."
"Racial profiling continues to make communities of innocent individuals fear a justice system designed to protect them. Men and women wonder if merely walking or driving justifies being followed, stopped or questioned. This practice and the presumption of guilt so often associated with people of color must come to an end. As the Martin family continues to mourn the death of their son, we see firsthand how detrimental racial profiling is and how unjust the application of our laws can be."
"Peaceful protests have taken place in cities across the county, and more than 150,000 individuals signed a petition initiated by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) asking the Department of Justice to review the case, and it has agreed to do so. Through collective action, where we all stand our ground together, we can ensure Trayvon Martin's death will never be in vain. The fight for equality and equal protection under the law in this country is far from over."