With the family of Trayvon Martin expected on Capitol Hill later today, one senator took to the floor this morning to speak about the 17-year-old's "tragic death" and the larger issue of racial profiling.
"I think every parent in America should understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this," Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said on the Senate floor. "I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how something like this happened."
This afternoon Trayvon Martin's parents are expected to attend a briefing held by House Judiciary Democrats on racial profiling, hate crimes and Stand Your Ground laws. Among the witnesses is the Martin family's lawyer.
"I join all Americans in wanting a full and complete investigation into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin to ensure that justice is served. There are many questions that we need the justice department to answer," the senator said.
Among those questions, Cardin says, is whether Martin was the victim of a hate crime by George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot dead Martin, and whether there were racial issues in the way the case was handled.
Cardin has been active in his time in the Senate with dealing with legislation focused on racial profiling.
In October of last year he introduced the "End Racial Profiling Act," which would "protect minority communities" by prohibiting the use of racial profiling by law enforcement officials.
"Racial profiling has no place in modern law enforcement," Cardin said. "Congress and the justice department can and should take steps to prohibit racial profiling and finally root out its use."