As we all know by now, Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States, has already announced the Department of Justice is resuming its investigation of bringing federal charges against George Zimmerman for violating Trayvon Martin’s civil rights under limited hate crime statutes. HOWEVER, in a surprising turn of events, the National Bar Association has called for the DOJ to investigate bringing charges that George Zimmerman violated Martin’s civil “right to life,” in general. This is HUGE. I do not ever recall a time when the National Bar Association took sides in a case, no matter how high profile it is.
Please read the press release from the NBA below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC, July 14, 2013 – We are extremely disappointed by the verdict in the case of State of Florida v. George Zimmerman. As lawyers we respect the rule of law, but in this instance the Zimmerman verdict sadly highlights the continued injustices Black Americans face in the U.S. legal system.
“The verdict,” stated NBA President John E. Page “says an unarmed college-bound Black teen can be profiled, stalked, confronted and killed by an armed neighborhood watchman with hollow tip point bullets. We express our heartfelt condolences to Trayvon Martin’s family on this tragic verdict. We also say ‘Enough is Enough – It is NOT OK to kill our youth’.”
The fact is the jury delivered a not guilty verdict. The TRUTH is justice has not been served. In these most challenging of times, we are called upon to act. We must move from outrage to action. It starts today with the NBA and YOU!
“Injustice anywhere,” as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “is a threat to justice everywhere.” We have work to do to achieve justice for Trayvon Martin. As social agitators, the members of the NBA are continuing the struggle for “equal justice under the law” for Trayvon Martin. At the forefront of this struggle are NBA members Daryl Parks (Past NBA President) and Ben Crump, of the Tallahassee, Florida law firm Parks & Crump, LLC, that are representing Trayvon’s family in advocating for “equal justice under the law.” We proudly stand with them.
We urge the Department of Justice to act. The Department can still address the violation of Trayvon’s most fundamental civil right – the right to life. Upon a thorough investigation of the matter, we expect the Department to vigorously pursue all appropriate claims.
We urge all lawyers to act. Join us in Miami, Florida on Saturday, July 27 and Monday, July 29 in a CALL TO ACTION to collectively address the affront to and devaluing of civil rights of all men and women regardless of race who have been unfairly served by the justice system. We must not allow anyone to succumb to violence at the hands of vigilantes who ferment the devaluing of human life. It is now time to stand up.
ABOUT THE NBA: The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation’s oldest and largest national network of predominantly African American attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 44,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students and has over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. For additional information about the National Bar Association, visit http://www.nationalbar.org