Trayvon Martin's parents speak out: "Stunned" at verdict

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CBS News

Posted on July 18, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 18 at 9:48 AM

(CBS News) The parents of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, spoke out for the first time since a not guilty verdict was handed down Saturday night in the trial of George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was acquitted of second degree murder and manslaughter in the 2012 shooting death of the unarmed Martin in Sanford, Fla.

"Trayvon was a fun-loving child. He was our child. We miss him dearly," Tracy Martin said Thursday on "CBS This Morning." "To have your child's life taken away from you like that, it hurts. And it's a process that will take a long time to start the recovery from."

Martin's parents attended much of the trial but were not in the court room for the verdict, and Fulton says she was "in a bit of shock" upon hearing of the not guilty verdict.

"I thought surely that he would be found guilty of second degree murder, manslaughter at the least. But I just knew that they would see that this was a teenager just trying to get home. This was no burglar. This was somebody's son that was trying to get home."

"I was stunned. Absolutely. I couldn't believe it," Fulton added.

Complete Coverage: George Zimmerman verdict

Fulton says the role of racial profiling in the death of her son is "obvious."

"We didn't know details about the case. We knew some of them but some of the details came out in the courtroom as far as previous 911 calls and I think it was obvious that it was a black person, a black young person that they were looking for. But Trayvon simply was not that person. Trayvon was not a burglar. He wasn't doing anything wrong. He simply went to the store and was headed back home. For somebody to look at him and to perceive him to be a burglar, that is the problem," she said.

Turning to so-called Juror B37, who spoke out in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper earlier this week, nd claimed that Trayvon held a significant amount of blame for the confrontation that led to his death, Fulton said "I don't think she knows Trayvon."

"Trayvon is not a confrontational person. Instead of placing the blame on the teenager, we need to place the blame on the responsible adult. There were two people involved. We had an adult who was chasing a kid and we had a kid who I feel was afraid."

The parents' attorney, Benjamin Crump, said they will consider a civil suit against Zimmerman, but did not confirm how their legal team will move forward in the months ahead.

"We'll look at all legal options. Right now, we'll ask the Department of Justice to answer ... 'Can a private citizen with a gun profile and follow our children home?'"

"We need to know because we've got to know what to tell our children," Crump said.

Fulton called on President Obama to "at the least ... investigate what happened."

"At least go through it with a fine-toothed comb and make sure all the T's were crossed and all the I's were dotted because this is sending out a terrible message to young teenagers. Trayvon was walking too slow. So should they be walking too fast? I don't think teenagers know exactly what to do now," she said.

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