The mother of black teenager Trayvon Martin has denounced a decision by federal prosecutors not to charge the man who shot and killed her son, saying he must be held accountable.
Speaking as officials announced they were not to bring charges against George Zimmerman for the death of her 17-year-old son, she said: “He took a life, carelessly and recklessly, and he shouldn’t deserve to have his entire life walking around on the street free.”
Speaking with the Associated Press, Sybrina Fulton, added: “I just believe that he should be held accountable for what he’s done.”
Mr Zimmerman claimed he shot the unarmed teenager in self-defence after confronting the youngster while while volunteering for his neighbourhood watch group in February 2012. A jury acquitted him of murder the next year.
The case sparked a national debate about race, discrimination and crime. Mr Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, was not immediately arrested after shooting Mr Martin. President Barack Obama weighed in to the debate, saying: “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin.”
Yet on Tuesday, the US Justice Department announced it found insufficient evidence to establish that Mr Zimmerman wilfully deprived Mr Martin of his civil rights or killed him because of his race.
Mr Zimmerman’s lawyer, Don West, said his client was relieved the case was closed. “This cloud he was under has been lifted,” he said.Reuse content