Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin made the morning-show rounds today, speaking out for the first time since George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing their unarmed son, Trayvon Martin.
The two were somber and resigned in their appearances on “CBS This Morning,” “Good Morning America” and “Today,” repeatedly expressing their shock at the verdict and indicating that they may be moving forward with a civil suit.
Martin spoke movingly about his son on CBS this morning, opening the interview by saying, “I want America to know that Trayvon was a fun-loving child. He was our child. We miss him dearly. Just 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 to recovery from.”
Fulton added that she was “stunned” when she heard Zimmerman was not found guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter: “I [thought] 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.”
Both agreed that race played a huge factor in the killing. “I think it was obvious that it was a black person, a black young person, that they were looking for,” Fulton told co-host Charlie Rose. “But Trayvon was simply not that person.
Race was more of a focus in Martin and Fulton’s conversation with Matt Lauer on Today. Martin said that if his son had been white, “this would have never happened — so obviously, race played some type of role.”
When co-host Matt Lauer asked if he felt that the legal system had failed her son, Fulton answered yes, “to a certain degree,” adding, “I just didn’t understand. How can you let the killer of an unarmed child go free?”
Trayvon’s parents also discussed the aftermath of the verdict, saying that they hoped all protests would be peaceful — and telling Lauer that while they may someday be able to forgive Zimmerman, “forgiveness is like a healing process. Forgiving takes time.
Martin’s parents said today on “GMA” that they wish the members of the jury had gotten a chance to know more about their son during the trial.
“I wish they really knew Trayvon for who he was and knew that he was a kid,” Martin said. “They didn’t know him as a human being, a very decent human being, a fun-loving kid. He loved kids.
“I just wish they had an opportunity to really know who Trayvon was and to put that in context with what their decision was.
Zimmerman has gone into hiding since the verdict, but in an interview this week with ABC News, his parents, Gladys and Robert Zimmerman Sr., said that if they had the chance, they would tell Trayvon Martin’s parents they are truly sorry about what happened the night their son fatally shot the 17 year old.
When asked by “GMA’s” George Stephanopolous whether he was comforted by the Zimmermans’ apology, Martin called it a “hard and fair question.”
“There’s no winner in this situation,” Martin said. “Obviously, we are devastated more.”
“I just think that all the circumstances surrounding books being written and the mischaracterization of us as parents, I just really don’t feel that it’s real sincere,” he said. “But we continue to pray that we’ll find peace and strength to be forgiving parents.”
Martin and Fulton have started a foundation named after their son and say they hope his death and the trial can serve as a catalyst to bring the country together.