Trayvon Martin Case: ABC News Radio Conversation on Race and Justice

ABC News Radio hosts forum, "Race and Justice: A National Conversation."

ByABC News
March 28, 2012, 9:58 PM

March 28, 2012 — -- "Not again," rapper Q-Tip recalled thinking when he learned of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, by a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Fla.

"I think it's time that we as a nation, if we can gain anything from this, it should be a moment of introspection," he said. "And we should really have the kind of conversation that could really fix it."

His comments came during a live town hall-style radio show, "Race and Justice: A National Conversation," hosted by "Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts Wednesday night from ABC News headquarters in New York City, and amid continued allegations of racism, scrutiny into how local police handled the investigation into Martin's death, and a nationwide outcry for justice.

Roberts' guests included actor Hill Harper; gospel duo Mary Mary; ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith; the Rev. A.R. Bernard, founder of the Brooklyn, N.Y., Christian Cultural Center; and an audience of high school students, parents and law enforcement officials.

Martin, 17, was shot dead Feb. 26 by George Zimmerman, who found the teen suspicious, then pursued him against the suggestion of a 911 dispatcher.

Leaks from the police report detail Zimmerman telling police he was heading back to his truck when Martin knocked him down with a punch to his nose, jumped on him, repeatedly banged his head on the ground, then tried to grab Zimmerman's gun. In a struggle for Zimmerman's gun, the watchman shot the teen, Zimmerman told police.

It remains unclear exactly what prompted the altercation that ultimately led to Martin's death, and Zimmerman, who claimed that he acted in self defense that night, has not been charged with a crime.

Martin was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and carrying only a pack of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea at the time.

Police brought Zimmerman into the station for questioning for a few hours on the night of the shooting, Zimmerman's attorney said, despite his request for medical attention first. Ultimately, they had to accept Zimmerman's claim of self defense.

"It makes me so concerned for my nephews and for my brother, for my husband, for my son, who's only two. It just makes me fearful," Tina Campbell of the music group Mary Mary told Roberts at Wednesday's town hall. "And I pray that this conversation makes us open our eyes that we change things and there is justice for Trayvon."

"I think we need to reevaluate some of the laws," said Erica Campbell, the other half of Mary Mary.

"It is not your responsibility to take the law into your own hand," Tina Campbell added. "And once you approach someone, please tell me how that's self-defense?"

"How is this self-defense when you're approaching me? You get out of your car, you're armed, and it's self-defense?" Tina Campbell asked of Zimmerman's defense.

"And you're alive and walking away while he's in a body bag?" she asked. "Come on."

In video surveillance obtained by ABC News from the night Martin was killed, a handcuffed Zimmerman appears uninjured as he exits a police cruiser and walks into the Sanford Police Department.

Joe Oliver, who describes himself as a close friend of Zimmerman's family, has said that Zimmerman is in hiding and fears for his life. The Black Panthers have put up a $10,000 bounty for Zimmerman's "capture."