MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – A day after it was announced that George Zimmerman would not face federal charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Martin’s mother said she still believes he got away with murder.
During a news conference Wednesday, the parents of Trayvon Martin spoke calmly and concisely about their feelings on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision.
“Of course we were devastated by the decision not to charge the murderer of our son,” said Trayvon’s father Tracy Martin.
The DOJ said, “The high standard for a federal hate crime prosecution cannot be met.”
Several DOJ staff members met with Trayvon’s parents to break the news and sent a message from the Attorney General.
“He was saying they tried all they could possibly do to bring charges against the killer of our son,” Martin recalled.
In three years since Trayvon’s death, Martin and Fulton have flown around the country, speaking to media, youth groups, and leading rallies against racial profiling and gun violence.
“Just the work we’re doing with the foundation is helping us heal. This is our life. This is our purpose in life,” said Fulton.
They say it provides some solace to believe students studying American History will see Trayvon’s name in their textbooks.
“It’s just sad he has to be in American history that way, but if we can learn something as Americans, if we can learn something with society behind it, then we push forward with it,” acknowledged Martin.
Though they miss their son desperately, and are upset Zimmerman will not face federal charges, Fulton says their focus remains on the task at hand.
“I will continue to fight for my son. I will continue to fight for your sons. Our work has not stopped, this is not halting us. This is going to make us push even harder because we have a lot of work to do,” said Fulton.
George Zimmerman’s attorney Don West released a statement reacting to the federal decision.
“We are relieved but not surprised by the Department of Justice decision not to file Federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman. We have maintained all along that race played no part in the events surrounding Trayvon Martin’s tragic death in February 2012. Mr. Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the state prosecution where the state prosecutor could have offered evidence of racial discrimination if it existed. No such evidence of racial motive was identified or presented. The jury in the state prosecution was satisfied that George Zimmerman acted in lawful self-defense. Their verdict should be respected. After an exhaustive and thorough re-examination of the state prosecution and an independent investigation by the federal government, the Department of Justice concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to charge Mr. Zimmerman with a federal hate crime. We agree with their decision and are relieved that this case is now finally concluded.”
The Trayvon Martin Foundation is planning to host a national youth summit, and are working on creating 20 new scholarships in 20 states.
It’s the least his parents say they can do to honor their son’s life.