NEW ORLEANS – After attending the opening ceremony for the 37th Annual National Association of Black Journalists Convention and Career Fair, the family of Trayvon Martin and their legal team held an exclusive news conference to respond to the firing of Sanford, Fla. Police Chief Bill Lee on Wednesday (June 20).
Under Lee's direction, Sanford police decided not to arrest George Zimmerman, who fatally shot the 17-year-old Martin.
Martin's family and legal team were set to participate in NABJ's "Trayvon Martin: A Crime Story in the Digital Age," newsmaker session on Thursday (June 21) morning.
During Wednesday's news conference, family attorney Benjamin Crump noted that the city manager of Sanford had an internal investigation into the matter concerning Lee.
"The parents of Trayvon Martin respect the decision of the city manager. They remain vigilant in getting justice for their son and the tragedy that claimed his life," said Crump. "Mr. Martin always thought that the killer of his son should have been arrested and he had to go, with Sabrina (Martin's mother) and a lot of people, to great lengths to have the killer of his son arrested.
"So, it is one of those things – he has always believed that (Zimmerman) should have been arrested when he killed his son."
Credibility, said Crump, is the issue, especially as it relates to recent develops involving jailhouse records.
"It has always been only George Zimmerman's word and his version that Trayvon Martin attacked him," said Crump. "All of the objective evidence in this case: the 911 tapes, George Zimmerman's statement himself...that's objective. That stuff we can hear with our own ears.
"The fact that (Trayvon's) on the phone with his friend the same time that Zimmerman is on the phone with the 911 operator, that's objective evidence because phone records are objective."
The special prosecutor in the case has sent a strong message that you have to tell the truth when you're in the court of law, said Crump.
Martin's mother, Sabrina Fulton, pointed to the ongoing support the family receives, including people who just walk up and give them a hug.
"It does the heart good," Fulton said. "Yes, we still are hurting. We just had to go through a Mother's Day and a Father's Day and it hurts. It just hurts. It's just good to know that there are good people and there are people who support us. We just want to say thank you and keep praying for us.
Attorney Daryl Parks said, "It's important that we really believe that, as all of this has unfolded, we've continued to move closer to justice."