Some members of the Congressional Black Caucus met with senior Justice Department officials Tuesday, including the head of the civil rights division, Thomas Perez, to talk about Trayvon Martin's death.
Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., in whose district Martin lived and attended school -- "in walking distance of my house" -- said that she had attended and paid for the funerals of too many young black men and that she's accustomed to such violence in big urban areas, not smaller towns like Sanford.
"I am tired of burying black boys," Wilson said. "I can't even explain how sad this makes me."
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., the chairman of the caucus, called Martin "a 17-year-old bundle of hope" and said his death was "heartbreaking." Cleaver has three sons and said Americans are beginning to understand the pain Martin's family feels.
"America has trained its heart to sympathize with justice," Cleaver said in a news conference at the Capitol.
Though no charges have been filed in the case, Wilson said that Martin was the victim of racial profiling. "This is a national problem," she said. "This is not acceptable."
Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett, who joined the lawmakers in their meeting with the Justice Department officials, said there is "lots of pain in the community" and said that if local officials mishandled the case in any way, he wants to know about it.
"If we made an error, I want someone to tell me," he said.
The House delegation, Triplett, and the city manager also met with Roy Austin Jr., the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division.
Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., said she's not satisfied with how the case was handled. She cited the police officer who responded to the scene of the shooting and decided on the spot not to charge Zimmerman or test him for drugs or alcohol, while Martin was tested.
"I have a problem with that decision at that level," she said.
She said it took a while for Washington lawmakers to get involved because they didn't know key details of the case, especially that it wasn't a confrontation between two adults.
"It was not clear we were dealing with the case we have," Brown said.
Neither Brown nor Wilson said they had yet spoken to Gov. Rick Scott or state Attorney General Pam Bondi about the case, but Wilson said she expected a call from Scott today.
-- CURTIS TATE and ERIKA BOLSTAD