WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – With a major announcement promised in the next three hours by the special prosecutor assigned to the Trayvon Martin death investigation, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin’s parents are urging everyone to remain calm.
Many people anticipate that the announcement by State Attorney Angela Corey will be as to whether George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who shot Martin on Feb. 26th as he walked through a gated Sanford community, will be charged.
Wednesday afternoon Martin’s parents joined Sharpton at the 4th annual convention of the National Action Network in Washington D.C. Together they stressed that everyone should remain peaceful when Corey announces if Zimmerman will be charged – no matter what the decision.
“Trayvon Martin’s name must not be tarnished by those that are either for or against with any reckless behavior, even verbally,” said Sharpton. “It is imperative that we make it clear that this family has denounced anything other than non-violent and peaceful protest.”
Flanked by Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, said Trayvon’s supporters should not consider “the business of revenge.”
“We are in the business of justice and anyone that operates in any other spirit is not operating in the spirit of this family,” said Sharpton. “If they (Martin’s parents) can operate in dignity, we can operate in dignity.”
Sharpton also addressed Tuesday’s announcement by Zimmerman’s lawyers that they were not going to represent him because he had not returned their calls, emails and texts for several days.
“It is unheard of for someone to kill an unarmed, innocent man to walk out of the police station,” said Sharpton. “Now we are told 43 days later that they (Zimmerman’s former attorneys) can’t even reach him. So there’s no officer of the court, no lawyer responsible for him, no one can reach him. This family had their child killed for no reason, no wrong, and we don’t know where he is. He should be apprehended immediately, he should have been held that night.”
The Martin family attorney, Ben Crump, echoed Sharpton’s message and called for everyone to remain calm when Corey’s decision is announced.
“We got several calls from government officials about when the special prosecutor (Corey) makes her decision that we want to make sure that everything remains peaceful,” said Crump.
Crump said if Martin’s parents have been able to carry themselves in a dignified manner throughout this ordeal, everyone should be able to do the same.
Fulton thanked those who have offered support and guidance during the last month. She said it gave her strength during some very dark days.
“For the last forty four days it has been a nightmare and this is coming from a mother’s perspective. I have been up and down as if I were on a rollercoaster. But I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that justice will be served,” said Fulton.
“As a parent who lost a child, it is very tough to maintain your sanity,” said Tracy Bell. “But I told myself on the second day that Trayvon was dead that I would find it within myself to do right by him. To make sure that his name wouldn’t be, his death wouldn’t be in vain.”
The night of the shooting Sanford Police did not charge Zimmerman citing the state’s ‘Stand Your Ground” law which allows for the use of deadly force if a person feels their life is threatened.
Corey’s decision not to bring the case before a grand jury means Zimmerman won’t face a first degree murder count if he is charged. He could, however, be charged with second degree murder or manslaughter which could lead to an extensive prison sentence.