Trayvon Martin’s mother speaks out against stop-and-frisk
Trayvon Martin’s mother spoke out against New York City’s stop-and-frisk practice on Sunday, less than one week after a federal judge called the tactic unconstitutional.
“You can’t give people the authority – whether it’s civilians or police officers – the right to just stop somebody because of the color of their skin,” Sybrina Fulton said in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Martin was shot and killed in February 2012 when he got into an altercation with neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman who said he shot the teen in an act of self defense. Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in July.
Benjamin Crump, Fulton’s attorney, said on Sunday that the Martin shooting was the result of racial profiling, similar to the stop-and-frisk system.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly defended stop-and-frisk once again on Sunday.
“The stark reality is that violence is happening disproportionately in minority communities. And that unfortunately is in big cities throughout America,” he told NBC. “We have record low numbers of murders in New York City, record low numbers of shootings, we’re doing something right to save lives.”
Kelly also argued that the police policy should not be equated with the Martin shooting which involved two civilians.
U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled last week that the city’s stop-and-frisk practice violated the Fourth and Fourteenth amendments.
“The City’s highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner,” she wrote. “In their zeal to defend a policy that they believe to be effective, they have willfully ignored overwhelming proof that the policy of targeting ‘the right people’ is racially discriminatory and therefore violates the United States Constitution.”