Rev. Al Sharpton Joined Trayvon Martin’s Father In NW Dade Rally
NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBS4) - A weeks and a half after a jury found his son’s shooter not guilty of second degree murder or manslaughter, Tracy Martin thanked the crowd assembled at the National Action Network’s Southeast Regional Civil Rights Revival and Conference for its continued support.
The 3-day conference is being held at the New Birth Baptist Church in Northwest Miami-Dade.
On Tuesday night, Al Sharpton, the President of the National Action Network renewed his promise to Tracy Martin, almost a year and a half since their first meeting.
“Just like I told him then, I tell him now, We’re going to be here until we get justice,” Rev. Al Sharpton said in front of a church filled with worshippers.
He said Trayvon Martin, the Miami Gardens teen shot dead in Sanford last February, would not be forgotten.
“He will be remembered as the victor who sparked change in the criminal justice system in the United States of America,” Sharpton said.
Tracy Martin was touched by the sentiment.
“Reverend Al is right,” Martin said. “It’s not a moment, it’s movement.”
The movement has gained momentum through events like the conference at New Birth Baptist Church.
The timing of the conference was coincidental, planned in April, months before the George Zimmerman trial even started.
“God is a God of impeccable timing,” Bishop Victor T. Curry said. “He knew we would need this gathering and this time to try to figure out where do we go from here.”
Panel discussions for the conference will focus on education, employment, gun violence, voting rights and health care.
At the first panel, Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho closed out a discussion on striving for equality in education.
But once the panel was over and Sharpton took the stage, the focus shifted to the Trayvon Martin’s case and the controversial Florida statute that’s made headlines since his death.
“We’re trying to hopefully change or make amendments to the Stand Your Ground Law,” Tracy Martin said.
Vocal opponents of the Stand Your Ground Law rallied in 100 cities across the country over the weekend, mobilized in part by Sharpton’s National Action Network. Rev. Al Sharpton emphasized the non-violent nature of the demonstrations.
“In more than 100 cities, not one brick thrown, not one window broken,” Rev. Sharpton said. “No violence, nowhere.”
Tracy Martin is grateful his family’s message of peace prevailed.
“We are God fearing people and we think that a peaceful resolution is what would help Trayvon rest in peace,” he said.
Tracy Martin said he is now starting to focus on the foundation he and Sybrina Fulton started in their son’s name to help over victims.
They hope to start a scholarship fund.
The National Action Network local conference runs through Thursday night.
Rev. Al Sharpton will be the primary speaker Wednesday night, following a job fair at the church from 10am to 4pm.
The event is free and open to the public.