A Call for Justice for Trayvon Martin

Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012

We, the undersigned members of the North Carolina Central University School of Law family, are aware of the unlawful death of 17-year old Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012. The circumstances surrounding his death and the failure of Sanford law enforcement to pursue criminal charges against George Zimmerman are of grave concern to us. The undisputed facts show that Trayvon was innocently walking home with a bag of Skittles and some iced tea at the time he was shot and killed.

We are deeply disturbed that elected and appointed officials have not sought to prosecute George Zimmerman for his conduct that caused the death of Trayvon Martin. Available and reported facts establish that probable cause exists to pursue a murder indictment and it is unthinkable that this prosecution has not been pursued. We are of the opinion that had Trayvon Martin, an African-American, been the perpetrator, he would have swiftly been arrested and prosecuted. It is unfortunate that justice continues to be administered in a racially disparate manner.

While we are disturbed about the lack of prosecution, we are encouraged by and support the actions of the Sanford City Commission in its no-confidence vote against the Chief of Police. We are also encouraged by the decision of the United States Justice Department to investigate this matter. These acts, however, do not relieve local authorities of their responsibility to evenhandedly pursue justice on behalf of all citizens.

North Carolina Central University School of Law was founded during an era of state sponsored segregation and discrimination as the only public option for African-Americans to pursue a legal career in the state of North Carolina. Today, as one of the most diverse law schools in the nation, we are sensitive to our legacy and to the fact that despite the passing of nearly 73 years since we opened our doors, many instances of racial discrimination remain. We are appalled that the task of taking a walk can result in the death of one of our children simply because he was a young black man.

We hereby demand the following:

That City Manager Norton Bonaparte, Jr. immediately terminate the employment of Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee for his egregious failure to properly investigate the circumstances of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin;

That there be an independent inquiry into the conduct of the investigating officers and their decisions not to arrest and pursue criminal charges against George Zimmerman;

That State Attorney Angela Corey should immediately arrest and seek an appropriate indictment against George Zimmerman;

That Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi and United States Attorney General Eric Holder continue to marshal their resources, conduct a thorough investigation of this matter and ensure a just resolution.

And finally, that the Florida Legislature take swift action to repeal the Stand Your Ground law and that Florida Governor Rick Scott endorse that repeal.

This 23rd day of March 2012.

Signed,

Frances P. Bynum
Todd J. Clark
Gregory W. Clinton, Sr.
Kimberly Cogdell Boies
Nakia C. Davis
April G. Dawson
Pamela S. Glean
Susan E. Hauser
Deria P. Hayes
Irving L. Joyner
Gregory Malhoit
Lisa G. Morgan
Wendy B. Scott
Nareissa L. Smith
Stephanie B. Williams

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Additional Supporters

Cheryl E. Amana-Burris
Carla L. Bostick
Shawnda M. Brown
LaToya M. Burt
Krishnee G. Coley
Donald W. Corbett
Arminta D. Foushee
Brenda D. Gibson
Angela Gilmore
Dionne R. Gonder-Stanley
Michelle Gordon
Reginald Mombrun
Dorothy D. Nachman
Pamela Newell
Kia H. Vernon
Fred J. Williams
Stephanie Troy Williams

The above listed individuals are faculty and staff of North Carolina Central University School of Law.

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