Parents Of Trayvon Martin To Attend Congressional Briefing Tuesday : The Two-Way Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton will travel to Washington to attend a briefing on racial profiling and hate crimes. They are not expected to speak.
NPR logo Parents Of Trayvon Martin To Attend Congressional Briefing Tuesday

Parents Of Trayvon Martin To Attend Congressional Briefing Tuesday

The parents of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin will travel to Washington Tuesday to attend a Capitol Hill briefing on racial profiling and hate crimes, the family's lawyer told NPR.

The briefing on the federal government's enforcement of laws against racial profiling and hate crimes will be held by Democratic Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, John Conyers and Corrine Brown.

The fatal shooting of the 17-year-old Martin, who was African-American, has ignited a national outcry over racial profiling amid demands for the arrest of the shooter, George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who has been identified as Hispanic, allegedly uttered a racial epithet while talking to a 911 dispatcher as he followed Martin through a gated community. The teenager was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, prompting Zimmerman to report seeing a "suspicious guy."

Zimmerman, 28, claims he shot the teen in self-defense. Martin was unarmed.

The lawmakers, each of whom has condemned the shooting, are expected to criticize Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which is under review in the wake of the shooting. Lawmakers also are expected to examine certification requirements for neighborhood watch volunteers.

In addition, they are expected to argue in favor of charging Zimmerman with a hate crime.

The family's lawyer, Benjamin Crump, is one of several people from the legal community and law enforcement scheduled to speak at the briefing, according to a release from Jackson Lee's office.

The boy's father, Tracy Martin, and mother, Sybrina Fulton, aren't expected to speak at the briefing, Jackson Lee's office said.

The National Association of Black Journalists reported Saturday that Jackson Lee would hold the briefing:

"This is symbolic of all that we have gone through with cases like this throughout the United States of America ... whether a child should be able to walk down the street unaccosted," Jackson Lee said. "This seems to be an epidemic confronting black boys and men in America. We are seeking an arrest and those of us lawyers know that it can and will be done."

Jackson Lee, Conyers, Brown and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus have joined the calls for an arrest in the case.

On Monday, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, D-Mo., chairman of the caucus, told radio host Bill Press he hopes the shooting investigations mark a "turning point" in addressing "subliminal racial bigotry in the country."

Asked if he believes Martin was targeted because he's black, Cleaver said, "Absolutely. I know that I'm supposed to say I don't know, but I think absolutely. If you listen to the [911] tape, the tape just says everything."

Cleaver said that after talking with Florida's attorney general, he "felt very good" about the state's decision last week to investigate the shooting, but worried that the monthlong delay may have compromised the gathering of evidence.

Correction at 11:40 a.m. ET: Earlier, we said the briefing was being held by the House Judiciary Committee. It is not. We have corrected the post above.