Attorney for Trayvon Martin's parents in Tampa: Zimmerman shouldn't get bail

Earlier in the day Governor Rick Scott finally announced the formation of the "Citizen Safety and Protection" task force assigned to review the Stand Your Ground law, with the 17-member committee's first meeting scheduled for May 1. The one Tampa representative on the committee is Joseph A. Caimano Jr., a criminal defense attorney.


During the 90-minute panel discussion that preceded the news conference, Hillsborough County NAACP chair Carolyn Collins said it was crucial for those in the church on Thursday to show up when that task force comes to Tampa to hold a public hearing.


The forum was sponsored by the National Bar Association, the largest network of predominantly black judges and attorneys around the nation. Officials with the group urged the panelists to be measured in their comments, and in fact Natalie Jackson, another attorney for Trayvon Martin's parents, said people should not get bogged down to simplifying the case under a prism of race. "This is about justice, "she said.


But Otis Anthony, host of the Sunday Forum on WMNF-88.5 FM, would have none of that, saying that in fact institutional racism would be on trial in Sanford, when and if an actual trial is held in the case.


Although reporters wanted to ask questions of the parents, Crump said at this point they would not be speaking publicly. But he and others talked often of the Trayvon Martin Foundation, where funds are being generated to "support awareness of civil rights, social justice and the quality of life for young black men," according to their website.


Crump and others also talked about the "Trayvon Martin Law." When asked what that consisted of, Crump said the first part of it is "you can't be the aggressor and pursue and pick a fight and then kill somebody and say you were standing your ground. You simply can't have that. We'll be looking at those type of things."

  • These signs were distributed at today's forum

On the eve of George Zimmerman's bond hearing in the case of his second-degree murder charge for the killing of Trayvon Martin, the attorney for the parents of the slain black teen says he doesn't think the judge in the case should grant bail.

"Some crimes on their face are not bondable offenses. Second-degree murder is one of them," Benjamin Crump said on Thursday afternoon at a press conference held after a panel discussion at the Beulah Baptist Institutional Church in Tampa.

"We didn't just demand an arrest to have George Zimmerman give the police his fingerprints and his mugshot," Crump added. "We fully expected the arrest would precipitate George Zimmerman being brought to justice...we stand on legal public safety and moral grounds to solidify our position that Zimmerman should be held without bond until these matters are concluded."

Zimmerman was arrested last week after weeks of protests that he should be detained in the killing of Trayvon Martin, in which he has claimed self-defense.

Addressing a report that Zimmerman would like to meet with Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, Trayvon's parents (who were present but did not speak at Thursday's event), Crump said essentially nothing doing.

"There might be a time and a place for that - but not right now," Crump said, calling such a request before his bond hearing "self-serving," when it's been over 50 days since he shot and killed Martin during their confrontation on February 26.

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