The parents of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin have accepted an apology from Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera after he suggested that the hoodie the teen was wearing contributed to his death.
Appearing on Rivera’s show, Geraldo at Large, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton thanked the veteran journalist for the apology, pointing out that one of the reasons their son was wearing the hoodie was because it was raining.
“He was protecting himself from the rain,” Tracy Martin said. “If being suspicious, walking in the rain with your hoodie on is a crime, then I guess the world is doing something wrong.”
Rivera said he was trying to warn parents that when young black men wear hoodies they can give off a wrong image. “But I never intended to hurt anyone’s feelings and certainly, Sybrina and Tracy, I never intended to hurt your feelings. I want to personally convey my deepest apologies to both of you. I am sorry if anything I said, Tracy, added to your misery.”
Rivera’s apology came Sunday, the day of yet another rally calling for the arrest of neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, who has admitted shooting the 17-year-old dead. Zimmerman claims Martin attacked him and the shooting was in self-defense.
The latest rally in Miami attracted basketball stars Alonzo Mourning and Isaiah Thomas and singer Chaka Khan.
Mourning echoed the words of President Barack Obama who said if he had a son he would have looked like the dead youth. "Each and every one of us feels the pain of this family simply because Trayvon Martin could have been one of all of us," said the former Miami Heat center.
Martin’s Feb. 26 death in a gated community in the Orlando suburb of Sanford, has sparked nationwide outrage. Zimmerman called 911 to report a man acting suspiciously, but was told by the dispatcher not to follow him. However he got out of his SUV and an altercation erupted that left Martin dead.
On Monday former President Bill Clinton jumped into the fray, suggesting on ABC News that the “tragedy” should lead to a reappraisal of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which has been invoked as a reason for the shooting.
“The American people should re-examine their position on that and ask: Is this really worth it? Are we really all that much safer taking the chance that this kind of thing could happen over and over and over again?” said Clinton.
“Anyone who doesn’t have a criminal background, anyone not prohibited by the Brady Bill and caught by the checks, can basically be a part of a neighborhood watch where they have a concealed weapon whether they had proper law enforcement training or not, and whether they’ve had any experience in conflict situations with people or not.”
The former president said that efforts in some quarters to call Martin’s character into question by pointing out he had been suspended from school three times were irrelevant “because an unarmed person who was killed on the street by a gun.
Zimmerman, 28, claims Martin jumped him and started pounding his head into the sidewalk, breaking his nose. However a video of him released by Sanford police last week did not appear to show any injuries when he arrived in handcuffs at the police station.
Zimmerman also claims that a voice heard on one 911 call crying out for help was his. But Tom Owen, the chair emeritus of the American Board of Recorded Evidence, who conducted a barometric voice analysis for the Orlando Sentinel, concluded that it most likely was most likely not Zimmerman’s.
However Owen could not say the cries on the tape were Martin’s as he did not have a sample of the dead boy’s voice.
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