Wed March 28, 2012
'He's Gone And We're Searching For Answers,' Says Trayvon Martin's Father
"I haven't even started grieving and I don't think I'll start grieving until I get justice for him."
That's Tracy Martin, father of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, moments ago in an interview with Tell Me More host Michel Martin (no relation).
During a conversation due for broadcast on Thursday's edition of Tell Me More, Tracy Martin also said:
-- Reports that the lead investigator and some others in the Sanford, Fla., police department wanted to charge neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman with manslaughter for the Feb. 26 shooting, "lets me know that at that time ... there was enough evidence to make an arrest." But, hearing that also deepens the family's pain because, "we wouldn't have had to be put through so much grief, so much strain on our lives had they simply just [done] the right thing."
-- "We're not saying Trayvon was perfect," but reports about his three school suspensions are "just an attempt to assassinate his character."
"Trayvon was a very good individual. ... He lived a decent life ... was a God-fearing child ... he had morals, he had principles, he had standards."
-- "Trayvon was me. That was my kid. ... I truly miss him, love him and this hurt won't go away easy."
-- The only thing he can tell his other two sons about their brother's death is that "he's gone and we're searching for answers."
As we said above, much more from the conversation will be on the air Thursday. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts Tell Me More.
Earlier this afternoon, NPR's Corey Dade posted for us about his conversation today with Tracy Martin.
Zimmerman, according to police, claimed self defense. He had called police to report that a "suspicious" young black man was walking through his neighborhood. Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin for a time and at some point they came together. From there, the facts are not clear about what happened. But Martin's family and supporters suspect he was the victim of racial profiling and that local authorities did not arrest Zimmerman in part because Martin was a black teen.