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Trayvon Martin's Mom: Jury Should Have Blamed 'Responsible Adult'

Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, appears for an interview with NPR's Michel Martin at <em>Tell Me More</em>.
Doriane Raiman
Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, appears for an interview with NPR's Michel Martin at Tell Me More.

"How can you let the killer of an unarmed teen go free? What would your verdict ... have been had it been your child?"

That's what Trayvon Martin's father said when asked by Matt Lauer to address the jury that acquitted George Zimmerman in the shooting death of their 17-year-old son.

Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, gave interviews to ABC, NBC and CBS that aired Thursday morning. It's the first time we have heard publicly from them since the verdict was read.

Here are some highlights:

-- Fulton was asked on CBS what she would say to the jury. She said she hoped they understood Trayvon better. She said her son was not a "confrontational person."

"Instead of placing the blame on the teenager, we need to place the blame on the responsible adult," she said. "There were two people involved. We had an adult that was chasing a kid and we had a kid who I feel was afraid."

-- Tracy Martin said he will "never grasp" how the jury reached its verdict.

"Just as loving parents and God-fearing people, we just continue to pray that whatever was in their heart was what they intended to do," he told ABC. "But we didn't feel it was fair and, of course, it was devastating."

-- Race played a role in the case, Martin told NBC. "I think that if Trayvon had been white, this wouldn't have never happened, so obviously race played some type of role."

-- Fulton told NBC that she wants protests to remain peaceful.

-- Lauer asked Tracy Martin if, as a person of faith, he could forgive George Zimmerman.

"I think that forgiveness is like a healing process. Forgiveness takes time," he said. "The bible says that you have forgive and forget, but also the healing process is a long process."

We'll leave you with video of the interview the couple gave NBC:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is an international correspondent for NPR. He was named NPR's Mexico City correspondent in 2022. Before that, he was based in Cape Town, South Africa.
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