House Speaker John Boehner today said Florida teenager Trayvon Martin's death is a "tragedy," and investigations by Florida state law enforcement and federal authorities are "appropriate" as the exploration into his killing continues.
"Our hearts go out to his family over this tragedy, and clearly what happened is in fact a tragedy," Boehner, R-Ohio, said at a news conference Tuesday morning. "It's being investigated by state and federal officials, which I think is appropriate, and I think I'll leave it at that."
More than a month has passed since the Feb. 26 killing, although nobody, including the man local law enforcement says shot Martin, has been charged with any crimes related to his death. The shooter, George Zimmerman, claims he shot an unarmed Martin in self defense. A " stand your ground" law in Florida could protect the shooter from prosecution.
Public outcry has spread to Capitol Hill as members of Congress have spoken out regularly on the House and Senate floor to honor Martin and call for justice.
This afternoon on Capitol Hill, Martin's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, are attending a forum on racial profiling and hate crimes organized by House Democrats on the Judiciary committee. Florida Democrats Frederica Wilson and Corrine Brown and Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee asked for the briefing, which is titled: Protecting a "Suspect" Community: Racial Profiling & Hate Crimes.
Benjamin Crump, Esq., counsel to the Martin Family, is among the witnesses expected to testify, as are other local civil rights leaders. Martin's parents are not expected to address the media today.
Last Friday about 250 congressional staffers rallied on the Capitol steps in Martin's memory at a "Hoodies on the Hill" demonstration.