Democrats blast Florida police in Trayvon Martin shooting


Sybrina Fulton (2nd R) and Tracy Martin (R), parents of slain teenager Trayvon Martin, attend a rally with family attorney Benjamin Crump (L) after a town hall meeting March 26, 2012.


Mario Tama

House Democrats on Tuesday blasted Florida police for its handling of the Trayvon Martin shooting and accused local law enforcement officials of botching the investigation.

The lawmakers, speaking at a congressional briefing attended by the slain teen's parents, called for the immediate arrest of 28-year-old George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who shot the 17-year-old on Feb. 26 in what Zimmerman said was self-defense, Reuters reported.

More from GlobalPost: Trayvon Martin case: A timeline

Police in Sanford, Fla., have come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks from civil rights activists and others for not arresting Zimmerman, who remains at large and in seclusion.

Police have said the state's "stand your ground" law allowing people to use deadly force when they perceive danger in any public place has prevented them from making an arrest, ABC News reported.

Sanford's police chief and the Florida state prosecutor overseeing the case stepped aside after coming under fire for the case, CBS News reported.

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who represents a House district in Florida, said Martin was the victim of a "botched police investigation" and racial profiling, suggesting that the teenager was unfairly "hunted" by Zimmerman simply because he was black, according to Reuters.

During the 2½-hour briefing, Martin's parents urged Congress to push for answers in their son's death.

“We have not gotten justice yet because this man has not been arrested for shooting my son,” Sybrina Fulton said, according to the Washington Times.


View all of our Trayvon Martin coverage.