The NAACP, the Nation’s oldest civil rights organization, is leading a charge to encourage lawmakers to introduce a set of legislative proposals to address what it believes are flaws in the legal system that led to the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
“The killing of Trayvon Martin is a heartbreaking tragedy, but his death must not be in vain. Trayvon’s Law will serve as the foundation for community advocates as they work to remove laws that contributed to his death and create new laws that with prevent future tragedies,” said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous in a statement.
The set of bills, collectively called Trayvon’s Law, include proposals that the organization believes would end racial profiling, repeal stand your ground laws, form effective civil complaint review boards to provide oversight of police misconduct, improve training for community watch groups, mandate law enforcement to collect data on homicide cases involving people of color and address the “school to prison pipeline.”
NAACP representatives say they plan to push the legislation at the local, State and Federal levels of government. The Florida NAACP chapter will begin pushing the laws in that State immediately.
“We will not rest until Trayvon’s Law is fully implemented in our state,” said NAACP Florida State Conference President Adora Obi Nweze. “From a civilian oversight board of police to best practices for community watch volunteers, we will demand that the Governor and our legislators move quickly to adopt these principles before we are faced with another tragedy.”
Meanwhile, Martin’s parents, Sabrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, have embarked on a campaign to repeal or amend Stand Your Ground laws throughout the Nation. They have set up the Trayvon Martin Foundation, to lobby States with Stand Your Ground laws to adopt a named amendment which would void that defense if a shooter was the aggressor in a fatal confrontation.
“We understand sometimes it’s a long journey to justice,” Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said Friday during a press conference at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Orlando. “From the Emmitt Till tragedy to the Civil Rights Act, that was almost a decade. Just because the fight is long doesn’t mean we’re not going to be successful.”