During the last day of the National Action Network’s conference in Washington, D.C., audience members, youth activists and victims of violence told stories of gun violence at the hands of police, and brainstormed solutions to the perennial problem.
The roundtable discussion, entitled “Measuring the Movement,” was hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton and taped live for TV One. Panelists included youth members and representatives from the Congressional Black Caucus.
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Sharpton began the program by showing segments of his one-on-one interview with Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, parents of Trayvon Martin, conducted on April 11, right after George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder.
Audience members cheered as Martin’s parents spoke in measured tones about continuing the struggle despite Zimmerman’s arrest in working to repeal Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Their lawyer, Benjamin Crump, expressed confidence in State’s Attorney Angela Corey toughness.
She will be indefatigable in her efforts,” Crump said.
As part of the taping, Sharpton conducted impassioned interviews with family members of slain victims, including Amadou Diallo’s mother, Kadiatou Diallo, who recently released her book about her son’s tragic murder, “My Heart Will Cross this Ocean”; and Nicole Paultre Bell, Sean Bell’s fiancée. Both have continued to work with Sharpton on police brutality issues around the nation.
Members from NAN chapters from around the nation spoke to panelists about other victims of police violence that have occurred in the same time frame as Trayvon Martin. Some of those victims included an unarmed 19-year-old named Ramarley Graham, who was fatally shot by police officers in the Bronx; Chicago’s Howard Morgan, who was shot 28 times by police officers; and Kenneth Chamberlain, 68, who was shot twice in the chest last November by police in Westchester County, New York, after he called them for medical assistance.