Trayvon Martin case: Family calls for investigation (VIDEO)


The family of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old boy who was shot in Sanford, Fla on Feb. 26, is calling for an investigation into the case, questioning whether the man who fired his gun did so in self-defense.


Late on Monday, the Justice Department and the FBI opened an investigation into the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida, according to CNN.

College students rallied outside the Seminole County criminal courts building in Florida earlier in the day to bring attention to the killing of the 17-year-old unarmed black teenager, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

Prosecutors were set to review the Martin case and make a decision on whether to file criminal charges against the shooter, a white man. The case has generated national interest in recent weeks with some asking whether race played a role in the shooting.

The Congressional Black Caucus called for a federal investigation, saying that local police had shown a "blatant disregard for justice," said CNN. The Justice Department said it would dispatch officials to Sanford, stating, "The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation."

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Martin's family called for an investigation after recordings from the 911 call were released, showing that George Zimmerman continued to follow Martin after the police advised him not to, according to NPR.

Martin was shot and killed by Zimmerman in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., on the evening of Feb. 26, according to The Washington Post. Martin was returning from a trip to a 7-Eleven and was found face down with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea. Zimmerman, a member of the neighborhood watch, claimed self-defense.

On the 911 call, Zimmerman can be heard telling police, "Hey, we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there’s a real suspicious guy." He added, "This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something."

The police asked Zimmerman whether he was following Martin and he confirmed that he was. The officer on the 911 call said, "We don’t need you to do that," but Zimmerman continued. In a separate 911 call, there were screams for help and what is thought to be the fatal gunshot that killed Martin.

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Martin's father, Tracy Martin, told the Associated Press on Saturday, "How can you claim self-defense and you are the aggressor?" Calls to 911 from neighbors reported a scuffle and shouts for help.

Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, speaking on the Today Show on Monday, said that Zimmerman "was reacting to the color of (Martin's) skin." She added, "(Martin) saw him as a stranger, so he was trying to just get away from the situation. He had never had a run-in with the law. He was mild-mannered. He was a nice kid."

After listening to the recordings, Martin's father said, "We’re hoping this doesn’t happen again to another family, and that America opens their eyes ... even though this won’t bring Trayvon back, we don’t want there to be another Trayvon," according to the AP.

The rally in Sanford was organized by the Black Law Students Association which called for Zimmerman's arrest. The group started chanting, "Do I look suspicious?" and "Arrest Zimmerman now," according to The Orlando Sentinel.

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View all of our Trayvon Martin coverage.

Martin's mother, Fulton, talked to Matt Lauer on the Today Show:

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