For more than a month, a vocal contingent of members of Congress have repeatedly called for justice in the killing of Trayvon Martin. They've spoken out on the House floor, held news conferences and organized rallies to support the Florida teen's family. Wednesday night, numerous lawmakers rejoiced at the news that the shooter, George Zimmerman, has been charged with 2nd degree murder in the teen's death. Here is compilation of some of the congressional reaction:
"It took 45 days, but finally, second-degree murder charges have been filed against the man who killed their son. That George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin is not in dispute. But letting him enjoy his freedom for 45 days was unconscionable," Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., wrote in a statement. "Now, the American justice system will take its course."
"State Attorney Angela Corey's decision to file charges against George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin is a positive first step towards some closure on this tragedy," Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., noted, adding that she believed there was sufficient evidence for an arrest. "There can be no happy ending in this story, but people need to believe that the system works fairly for everyone and this development is a good sign."
"This is a step in the right direction towards restoring the public's confidence in our system of justice. This also sends a clear message that shootings of unarmed individuals will be taken seriously," Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, stated. "I am glad that wheels of justice have started to turn and I trust the right decision, as determined by a court of law, on the proper punishment for Mr. Zimmerman will be made. Now members of the legislatures, both state and federal, need to ensure that these laws are not used to cover the misdeeds of those who strike a person dead in the streets."
"I, like many others, thought that an arrest based upon probable cause was not unreasonable," Texas Democratic Rep. Al Green wrote in a statement. "Mr. Zimmerman now deserves a fair trial. I look forward to a just verdict after a review of the evidence."
"The arrest of George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin and the charges to be brought against him show that our criminal justice system is functioning," Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., stated. "In this case, as in all others, the defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence, and it is important too that we let this case proceed in due course through the court system."