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What some are saying about the Martin verdict

Comments from local and national leaders

OW Staff Writer | 7/18/2013, midnight
Karen Bass, U.S. Representative, 37th District: “I am saddened and outraged by the verdict reached in the murder of Trayvon ...
Trayvon Martin

“The verdict 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.’”

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Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers president:

“While we believe in the rule of law and the jury has spoken, the implications of the acquittal are profound. It is very disappointing that a racially profiled, unarmed African American young man wearing a hoodie can be shot dead and there be no consequences for the perpetrator. This case reminds us that the path to racial justice is still a long one, and that our legal and moral systems do not always mesh. The proceedings in the Sanford, Fla., courtroom may well have dealt with the criminal aspects of the case, as defined by Florida law, but we will continue to deal with the moral ones. As the AFT pledged in a resolution passed at our 2012 convention, we remain steadfast in our commitment to fight for laws, policies and practices that will prohibit racial profiling at the federal, state and local levels.

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Benjamin Crump, lawyer for Trayvon Martin’s parents:

“Trayvon Martin will forever remain in the annals of history next to Medgar Evers and Emmett Till as symbols for the fight for equal justice for all.”

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Roslyn M. Brock, NAACP chairman:

“Today, justice failed Trayvon Martin and his family. We call immediately for the Justice Department to conduct an investigation into the civil rights violations committed against Trayvon Martin. This case has re-energized the movement to end racial profiling in the United States.”

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Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP president:

“We are outraged and heartbroken over today’s verdict. We stand with Trayvon’s family and we are called to act. We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state, and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed.”

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Adora Obi Nweze, NAACP Florida State Conference president:

“We lost a young man due to senseless violence, but justice did not prevail. Last year we pushed for the arrest of George Zimmerman and a thorough investigation and trial. Today, we are still called to act. No one should be allowed to use this law to commit a senseless crime again.”