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Bethel Apostolic Temple holds Trayvon Martin justice revival

Trayvon Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sabrina Fulton

Trayvon Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sabrina Fulton

Bethel Apostolic Temple holds Trayvon Martin justice revival

Trayvon Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sabrina Fulton. 

By Derek Joy

Bethel Apostolic Temple was the setting for its Senior Pastor/Teacher Carol Nash-Lester to inspire a resonating mood of reverence.

And, yes! There was a spiritual elevation permeating the audience in a collectively symbolic act akin to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Thus, Trayvon Martin’s family – Tracy Martin, Sabrina and Jahvaris Fulton graciously embraced a diverse support network. They shared the resulting pain, struggles and challenges wrought by their son Trayvon’s tragic death on Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, Fla.

“We’re here to do what no man is able to do,” Nash-Lester said in her opening welcome. “God is bringing us together on one accord. And that’s justice for the family of Trayvon Martin.”

There was a light rain. George Zimmerman, carrying a nine millimeter handgun, ignored police instructions. He pursued Trayvon, who wore a hoodie as he walked home from a nearby convenience store.

Zimmerman initiated an un-provoked confrontation with Trayvon. The unarmed teen-ager from Miami Gardens was shot and killed by Zimmerman, who claimed self defense under Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law.

Sanford Police accepted Zimmerman’s account of the shooting. No charges were filed until public outrage became an over-whelming demand for justice.

“You have no idea what this does for Trayvon’s family,” said Kim McCray, executive director of the Trayvon Martin Foundation. “They took their grief and turned it into advocacy for justice.”

“The purpose of this event is threefold. The first is peace. Secondly, we want justice. And third, it’s about prayer. We want the family to know they’re not alone on their journey.”

The next phase of that journey unfolds when Zimmerman’s trial on charges of second degree murder begins on June 10, in Sanford. Martin’s family will attend the trial.

Jury selection alone could take two to three weeks, according to Benjamin Crump, the Martin family attorney. The trial could last even longer.

“There will be some good days and some bad days, as in any trial,” said Crump, who cited what he called “The most riveting words ever said to me” since this ordeal began Feb 26, 2012.

Crump recalls, “Sabrina Fulton said, “I want to thank you all for standing up for my son, Trayvon Martin.  He’s not only my son. He’s your son. He’s everybody’s son. If it happened to my son, it could happen to your son”.

“She is setting an example for everybody who has lost a child to senseless violence. She taught America and the world how to deal with tragedy with dignity and grace. This whole matter is a civil rights process.

“Police didn’t do a drug and alcohol test on Zimmerman. But they did those tests on Trayvon Martin. They didn’t run a back-ground test on Zimmerman. But they ran one on Tracy Martin. That made it a civil rights issue right there,” Crump said.

Attorney Natalie Jackson, Crump’s co-counsel, noted how certain factions have tried to make this a racial issue.

Jackson stated, “A white started the petition that gathered 2.2-million signatures that forced the State Attorney to file charges against George Zimmerman. Don’t let them divide us on a Black – white issue. No divide and conquer. I assure you white jurors will convict George Zimmerman.”

Crump went a step further in adding perspective to this case.

“Police didn’t charge Zimmerman with racial profiling,” said Crump. “They charged him with criminal profiling.  George Zimmerman is every parent’s worst nightmare when you think about it.”

“A white watch captain on prescription drugs with a nine millimeter gun. This trial will set a precedent one way or another. It will either allow them to kill certain people and not be held accountable or will make everybody accountable.”

“Ponder for one moment the facts in the case. They say it’s a hard case. If the facts were reversed and a white was killed by a Black, nobody would be saying it’s a hard case.”


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