Trayvon Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, are expected to attend a forum today on Capitol Hill, where Democratic lawmakers will be looking at racial profiling and hate crimes.
The forum is sponsored by Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee. It's billed as a briefing on racial profiling and hate crimes, and is expected to assess the role of the federal government in those issues, specifically in 17-year-old Trayvon's case.
Among those scheduled to speak: Albert E. Dotson Jr., Chairman of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc., and Robert Parker, former Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department and Community Liaison for the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence project.
Trayvon was shot to death Feb. 26 while serving out school suspension in Sanford, where his father’s girlfriend lives. A neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, called the police to say he saw someone in a hoodie who looked high on drugs, and was suspicious because he walked too slowly in the rain. The unarmed teenager carried Skittles and iced tea, and was talking to his girlfriend on the phone, records show.
The 17-year-old's death has inspired rallies and marches from coast to coast, and sparked a national conversation about racial profiling and justice. Students, some dressed in all black, have walked out of classes throughout Miami-Dade County. Celebrities and NBA athletes have adopted the cause. In Sanford, as many as 30,000 people showed up at a rally last week and more than 2 million people have signed an online petition and more than 400 people have donated money to help the family pay expenses.
The forum is at 3 p.m. in room 2237 of the Rayburn House Office Building.