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The mother of Trayvon Martin is rejecting a far-Left campaign, backed by many Democrats, to “defund” local police departments in the wake of George Floyd’s death, saying instead that more officers should be added to cities instead.
Sybrina Fulton, who is running for Miami Dade County Commissioner District 1, when asked about it during an interview with The Guardian, responded, “I don’t agree with that.”
I’m officially qualified to run for Miami Dade County Commissioner District 1 #ItsTimeForChange #YourVoteYourVoice #ItsanewdayinMiamiDadeCounty #PositiveVibesOnly https://t.co/bXk73oBSQM pic.twitter.com/8dpR7xQLty
— Sybrina Fulton (@SybrinaFulton) June 8, 2020
“I think we need more police. We need police with better standards, and police with better ethics and better work habits,” she added. “I want residents to feel safe. I want to bridge the gap between the law enforcement and the community.”
Fulton’s son Trayvon was 17 when he was shot and killed in Sanford, Fla., by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on Feb. 26, 2012. Martin was walking back home alone after going with his father to visit his then-fiancee when he encountered Zimmerman.
The volunteer had called the Sanford Police Department to report a “suspicious person” while noting there had allegedly been several burglaries in the area recently. Though police told Zimmerman to remain in his vehicle, he got out anyway and followed Martin, when a violent confrontation occurred, during which time Zimmerman pulled out a handgun and fatally shot Martin.
When police arrived, Zimmerman claimed he had fired in self-defense. Police could not establish probable cause, so they did not arrest him. But over the course of the next several weeks, calls for prosecuting Zimmerman increased and eventually was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. On July 13, 2013, following 16 hours of deliberation, a jury found Zimmerman not guilty.
Defenders of Zimmerman argued that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law gave him the right to use deadly force if he perceived that his life was in danger, which he did. And though his defense team did not invoke the law because they said he could not have retreated in the face of a perceived assault, Fulton went on a campaign to get such laws repealed.
“I think the laws have to be changed so that we don’t let people get away with murder,” she told a crowd in Phoenix in August 2013. “Because that’s what happened. [Zimmerman] got away with murder.”
Fulton campaigned on having the laws changed so that persons who act as aggressors cannot use them as an excuse to escape responsibility.
The case was heavily politicized.
Less than a month after the shooting, then-President Barack Obama lamented Martin’s death, claiming, “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
A week after the jury found Zimmerman not guilty, Obama convened an impromptu press conference in which he criticized the decision and claimed that the same thing could have happened to him when he was younger.
“Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” he told the press.
Some critics would eventually take Obama to task for his remarks, including then-Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clark, who tweeted out the pictures of five U.S. military members killed during an ambush on a recruiting center in Tennessee noting the president’s perceived indifference to the incident.
“Obama’s shoulder shrug on these brave soldiers massacred in TN is because none of them look like Trevon [sic] Martin,” he wrote.
Obama's shoulder shrug on these brave soldiers massacred in TN is because none of them look like Trevon Martin. pic.twitter.com/Si1BbmFV8b
— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) July 19, 2015
Trayvon Martin demonstrators are marching on the FREEWAY in LA. pic.twitter.com/GB8oJBp2sS
— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@mattdpearce) July 15, 2013
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