U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) today expressed support for the federal investigation of circumstances surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin initiated by President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.
"I applaud President Obama for speaking out today on the Trayvon Martin case and for pushing federal, state, and local investigators to get to the bottom of what happened in this tragic killing of this young man. Trayvon's parents deserve better answers. It is our obligation as elected officials to make sure that we avert future incidents like this through laws that do not inspire citizens to take the law into their own hands. Florida, and other states who have adopted 'Stand Your Ground' laws ought to seriously revisit this questionable issue."
March 23, 2012
The Honorable Eric J. Holder, Jr.
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Attorney General Holder:
I was deeply saddened and disturbed to learn of the tragic death of seventeen year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida on February 26. I am particularly disturbed by the role that race and NRA-sponsored gun control laws have played in these unfortunate events. I want to offer my thanks to you for ordering an independent investigation by your department and urge you to use the full power of your office to bring justice to Trayvon and his family.
That the shooter of an unarmed teenager in this situation was not arrested or investigated by local police following Trayvon's death is truly an outrage to me and many other Americans. It is irrational laws like Florida's Stand Your Ground law, enacted in 2005 with the help and support of the National Rifle Association, that directly contributed to this tragedy and may give perpetrators in this and other crimes a chance to walk free. No matter what the circumstance, we must ensure that every U.S. citizen feels safe in our communities, and that victims of these senseless acts of violence receive full justice under the law.
I strongly support the Department of Justice investigation into the unwarranted and unnecessary shooting death of Trayvon Martin. I trust you will ensure that justice is served on behalf of Trayvon and his grieving family and friends. Thank you for addressing my concerns on this terrible tragedy. If I may ever be of any assistance on any matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Member of Congress