Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committee, released the following statement today:
"Today was a questionable day as it relates to the life of a young child. America's justice system is often viewed as coddling and protecting our children, the most vulnerable members of our society. As someone who has devoted much of my public life to advocating for the protection of children, whether from gun violence, bullying at school and in cyberspace, drugs, and unhealthy foodstuffs, I am dismayed that the Florida judicial system did not recognize and value the life of young Trayvon Martin. Trayvon's family and friends missed him on the day he was killed and they still miss him today. They are right to wonder why others seemed to attach so little value to his life.
"The federal government stands to serve justice in cases where there is much doubt as to whether justice was done by the local authorities. I expect to join with others in discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the killing of Trayvon Martin, who was but 16 years and 21 days old when he was shot to death. I am also calling for the Congress to hold oversight hearings regarding the treatment of the killing of a juvenile in the circumstances that occurred in Sanford, Florida as well as the manner in which the criminal justice system treats victims of gun violence, especially young black male victims like Trayvon Martin.
"Many mothers tonight are praying, as I am, hopeful that things remain calm but also hoping that justice for young Trayvon Martin will be pursued.
"To the the young people who have grown to see Trayvon Martin as themselves, we encourage you to continue to invest in improving your nation, working with people of all backgrounds who feel as you do -- disappointed -- but will join with you in the fight for justice.
"We are all Trayvon."