Charges filed in Trayvon Martin case
A major development in the case surrounding the shooting death that has sparked a national debate on race and justice. Trayvon Martin's family was in Washington, D.C. where we head now to get the latest from YNN's D.C. Bureau reporter Erin Billups.
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UNITED STATES -- This is what many across the country have been calling for for weeks now: Charges filed against Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman for shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26th.
Zimmerman has been charged with second degree murder and now is in police custody at an undisclosed location in Florida.
Florida's Special Prosecutor Angela Corey says officials can now move forward with proceedings, but expressed concern with all the information that has already been released about the case over the past several weeks as millions of Americans and members of the media have dissected the tragedy.
Corey said, "We have rules of criminal procedure, Florida statutes and ethics. So much information got released on this case that never should have been released. We have to protect this case and this prosecution for Trayvon, his family and for George Zimmerman and that's what we will do."
Trayvon Martin's parents were in Washington, D.C. for Al Sharpton's Nation Action Network Civil Rights conference. Shortly after the prosecutor's announcement, the parents spoke publicly about the charges, thanking the special prosecutor for her investigation and the public for its support over the past few weeks.
"We wanted nothing more, nothing less. We just wanted an arrest and I say thank you. Thank you Lord, thank you Jesus," said Sybrina Fulton, Martin’s mother.
Mayor Bloomberg was also in the nation's capital to announce a partnership with several civil rights groups to lobby the 24 states and Florida to repeal or reform the "Stand your Ground" Law, the law that Sanford Florida Police citied when explaining why they did not feel it was necessary to charge Zimmerman.
"I hope justice is served in Florida. I don't know what justice is, that's up to the court system, but the laws are not the kind of laws that a civilized society should have," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Prosecutor Corey says if the "Stand your Ground" Law becomes an issue in this case, she will fight it if she believes it’s the right thing to do.
So this is really just the beginning of a case that the whole country is watching.