March 19th, 2012 12:03 EST
Murdered Teen`s Parents Lead Online Campaign for Justice
More than 200,000 people have joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling for charges to be brought against a Florida man who allegedly shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager walking through a gated community two weeks ago.
Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the parents of Trayvon Martin, are leading the campaign on Change.org calling on Florida District Attorney Norman Wolfinger to bring charges against George Zimmerman, the self-proclaimed "neighborhood watch captain" who allegedly confessed to police that he killed Trayvon Martin. Police have so far declined to charge Zimmerman with any crime.
"I`m a normal mother," said Sybrina Fulton, who is leading the campaign on Change.org. "I just want justice for my son. My heart is broken. I keep thinking he is going to walk in through the door and the nightmare is going to end."
"It`s amazing to see how many people around the world are signing the petition on Change.org and calling for justice for Trayvon," said Tracy Martin, Trayvon`s father. "People see what happened and they know it`s wrong for the police to not arrest and charge this man for killing my son. It`s been two weeks with no arrest."
Trayvon Martin was shot and killed while walking from a store where he had just purchased a bag of Skittles and an iced tea for his younger brother. According to reports, Zimmerman called police to report a suspicious person after he saw Martin walking back from the store. Despite police instructing him not to confront Martin, Zimmerman allegedly approached the teenager. Witnesses say a scuffle ensued before Zimmerman shot the unarmed teen in the chest with a semi-automatic pistol, killing Trayvon.
News of the online petition campaign`s popularity is likely to increase awareness of the shooting and put pressure on State Attorney Norman Wolfinger to investigate and file charges against Zimmerman. Within days of the campaign`s launch, Fulton and Martin had recruited thousands of supporters on Change.org, the world`s fastest growing platform for social change.
"What Trayvon`s parents have accomplished in just a few days is remarkable," said Change.org Senior Campaigner Jonathan Perri. "They have been through so much, but it`s clear they not only want justice for Trayvon, but they want to stop something like this from happening again. Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them, and it has been incredible to watch this campaign take off."
Friends and family of Trayvon have also been leaving comments about why they are signing the petition:
"Trayvon was my best friend and big brother I never had," signed Aiyanna Fleming.
"Because I was Trayvon`s teacher. I miss him everyday. And so do his classmates," signed Michelle Kypriss.
"This was my great nephew. I feel that his murder was unjustified and senseless," signed Erma President.
"Trayvon was my little cousin. He was killed for no reason. If it was your family, you would do the same. I dont want to turn this into a black or white thing but I`m calling it how I see it. My family needs justice for Trayvon`s death," signed Bettina Owens.
"I`m family and we are hurting without Trayvon," signed Ms. Jones.
For more information on Change.org, please visit http://www.change.org/about.
Change.org is the world`s fastest-growing platform for social change " growing by one million new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.