Trayvon Martin’s mother has written a letter to the family of Michael Brown.
“I hate that you and your family must join this exclusive yet growing group of parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence,” Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton wrote in a letter published online late Monday by Time magazine. “The 20 Sandy Hook children. Jordan Davis. Oscar Grant. Kendrick Johnson. Sean Bell. Hadya Pendleton. The Aurora shooting victims. The list is too numerous to adequately mention them all,” Fulton says in the letter.
Martin, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida in February 2012. Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri. The similarities are difficult to miss, and both cases have sparked national outrage and a debate over racial profiling.
Additionally, the lawyers who now represent the Brown family also represented Martin’s family.
“Further complicating the pain and loss in this tragedy is the fact that the killer of your son is alive, known, and currently free. In fact, he is on paid administrative leave,” Fulton says of Wilson, the white, six-year police force veteran who shot and killed Brown.
But neither Brown’s death, nor Martin’s, will be in vain, Fulton promises.
“While we fight injustice, we will also hold ourselves to an appropriate level of intelligent advocacy,” she says. “If they refuse to hear us, we will make them feel us.”
Fulton vows that she and others living with the same loss “will no longer be ignored,” and closes her letter with words aimed squarely at Capitol Hill: “I would hate to think that our lawmakers and leaders would need to lose a child before protecting the rest of them and making the necessary changes NOW …”
Zimmerman was acquitted on charges of second-degree murder in Martin’s shooting death.