Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. speaking at press conference in support of justice for Trayvon Martin and Anthony Dunn. Photo by Malcolm Ali
Hundreds of community leaders, residents showed up at the Los Angeles Sentinel for a press conference and rally in support of justice for Trayvon Martin in Florida. However, the speakers who were there took the occasion to emphasize the numerous killings (and assaults) that seem to have become a national trend aimed at young Black men. It always seems to take meaningful, massive protests and demonstrations to bring attention to those who devalue Black life, the theme of each of the speakers.
The peaceful crowd, intermingled with a host of local media (print, radio and television) listened as Speaker after speaker – beginning with Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., executive publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel and the LA Watts Times – described the tragedy of Black men being needlessly and senselessly being killed. And when the similarity was drawn between the events in Florida with the killing of a mail carrier (Anthony Dunn II) right here in Los Angeles, it highlighted the need for a serious conversation about Black men being killed and accountability being zero.
Notwithstanding, the news cycle in the Trayvon Martin case has gone near full circle with -spin- and with news confusion (inept or corrupt police acts and statements, Zimmerman’s attorney and unscrupulous news outlets) by adding questionable theories, finding Zimmerman’s one black friend, Joe Oliver to say that he’s not a racist and Zimmerman’s three week late surprise statement that Martin went for his gun.
Bakewell introduced Cecil “Chip” Murray, who lend his powerful voice to the cadence of repeated calls for Justice for Trayvon Martin. So too did Leon Jenkins of the NAACP; Tony Muhammad of the Nation of Islam; Rev. Eric Lee of SCLC; Charisse Bremond of the Brotherhood Crusade; and Rapper Yo-Yo. They were all on one accord: justice for Trayvon Martin and No Justice, No Peace!
Adding the inconsequential evidence from Martin’s one school expulsion (that did not involve violence and has no bearing on the case) to further shade the public’s perception of him, prompted his mother, Sybrina Fulton to make a bold and clarifying statement, “They killed my son,” she said. “Now they’re trying to kill his reputation.”
“Everybody is outraged. There is no justice in this.” Tracy Martin, the father of Trayvon Martin.
People from all walks of life has joined the chorus demanding justice, including the President of the United States.
President Barack Obama: ” …But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. And I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
Ben Crump, the Martin’s attorney: “If he (Martin) and his friends experimented with marijuana, that is completely irrelevant to George Zimmerman killing their son. Law enforcement is attempting to demonize and blame the victim…”
Rev Al Sharpton: “Discuss what Mr. Zimmerman had in his system. Enough of the double standard.”
Ben Jealous NAACP president and CEO: “We are pleased the Department of Justice has heeded our calls and agreed to investigate this outrageous case. The rules of justice in this nation have failed when an innocent teenage boy can be shot to death by a vigilante and no arrest is made for weeks. Pursuing, and killing a 17-year-old boy should never be construed as self-defense. Our society deserves better, our community deserves answers and Trayvon’s family deserves justice.”
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS: Family deserves justice after teen slain by self-appointed ‘crimestopper.’ The California Legislative Black Caucus today expressed their sadness and frustration with the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, the lack of an arrest in his murder and various recent comments placing blame on the victim or his choice of clothing. Senator Curren D. Price, Jr., Chairman of the Black Caucus stated: “The tragedy of a young man’s untimely and unfair death is being compounded each day by the hateful and hurtful comments of those seeking to deflect blame from the neighborhood vigilante who killed him, and by the failure of law enforcement officials to seek justice for his murder. There is no argument to be made that Trayvon Martin was the aggressor here. The recorded evidence clearly shows that Mr. Zimmerman pursued Trayvon Martin — as Trayvon walked unsuspecting to his father’s home to enjoy his Skittles and iced tea — against the explicit instructions of law enforcement.”
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation: The CBCF wishes to express its condolences to the family of Trayvon Martin. We are dismayed that such a terrible tragedy occurred, and are in full support of the Congressional Black Caucus, and the thousands of others gathered in Sanford, Florida and nationwide, calling for the full investigation and arrest of the person responsible for Trayvon’s killing.
Danny J. Bakewell, Sr.: “We have to stand together, shoulder-to-shoulder to stamp out this deplorable behavior from our community. This has to stop. Those who think that they can kill our children with impunity must be held accountable. We are calling on the justice department to intercede immediately not only on behalf of Trayvon Martin, but also on behalf of Anthony Dunn and hold their killers accountable. Nothing short of this will be acceptable.”
Congresswoman Janice Hahn sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, which read in part: I’m writing to add my voice to the chorus of Americans who are outraged and heartbroken by the shooting death of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin.
Yesterday, the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, both of which I’m a member of, along with the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, requested an investigation to review the questionable actions made by the Sanford, Florida Police in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, and the release of his alleged killer, George Zimmerman. However, due to the appalling nature of this incident, I felt I needed to personally voice my support for the Department of Justice’s decision to investigate this matter and express my desire that the department use every tool at its disposal to ensure justice is served.
The Martin case also brought to light another questionable case involving the so-called,” stand your ground law,” where a man was similarly shot by police mostly unreported out of the immediate area. Without the black press to coordinate, broadcast, direct, raise awareness and summate actions, the Martin case may have also gone away without a proper response, or with the truth distorted as some news teams attempt to do now, with the public left divided and confused, with Zimmerman and Soto free and without justice for Trayvon and Dunn. We would all be left to be bombarded with only their propaganda.
To stay up to date on future rallies and events, please go to: lasentinel.net.