Baltimore Pastor Jamal Harrison Bryant will be visiting to the U.S. Department of Justice Tuesday to ask Attorney General Eric Holder for a civil rights investigation into Trayvon Martin’s death following the not guilty verdict that let his killer George Zimmerman go free.
Saturday night, a jury of six women acquitted neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges related to the late night slaying of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin. Civil rights advocates say Martin, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and carried a ice tea and skittles when Zimmerman spotted him, was the victim of racial profiling. Zimmerman argues that he defended himself after he and Martin got into a physical fight.
Bryant, leader of the Empowerment Temple church and pastor to Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis, told the Baltimore Sun that he was disappointed when he learned of the jury’s decision, but he said “in our guts as African Americans not many of us are surprised.”
Now he is a part of a coalition of African-American leaders who believe the verdict is a sign of the growing unjust treatment of the black community and are rallying supporters to protest, sign petitions and lobby for future legal options.
“This is not the end of it; justice must prevail,” Bryant told the Sun.