New York, NY -- The following is a statement from ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson:
"The news that Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey has charged George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin is a welcome yet long overdue development. The facts are still becoming clear, but it appears that a second-degree murder charge is fitting and acknowledges that Zimmerman acted as an overzealous aggressor and killed 17-year-old Trayvon without cause.
We are especially glad to hear that Zimmerman is finally in custody after the agonizing weeks that Trayvon's family has had to endure. Our thoughts are with them once again today. "In the nearly six weeks since Trayvon was killed, we've witnessed thousands of ColorOfChange members become deeply involved in the case. They've joined millions around the world in demanding justice for Trayvon and working to prevent future senseless killings of Black youth.
More than 170,000 ColorOfChange members have called on government officials to arrest Zimmerman and investigate the Sanford Police Department's gross mishandling of this case. "We are now in the midst of a major effort to address the conditions that allowed Zimmerman to evade criminal charges for so long.
The ColorOfChange community and allies are calling on the corporations that fund the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to end membership in the right-wing group. ALEC has pushed the "Shoot First" law used to justify the killing of Trayvon Martin as model legislation to dozens of other states.
In the past week, six corporations have announced that they have severed ties with the shadowy group and, by extension, the dangerous laws it promotes."
More than 170,000 CoC members have signed the petition calling on the Department of Justice to take over the Trayvon Martin case, arrest Martin's killer, and launch an independent investigation into the Sanford police department's mishandling of the case. The petition can be found here: http://www.colorofchange.org/campaign/trayvon/
In addition, ColorOfChange members signed an earlier petition targeting ALEC’s corporate partners for their role in suppressing Black votes. The petition can be found here: http://www.colorofchange.org/campaign/alec/
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With more than 800,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest African-American online civil rights organization.