The parents of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager who was fatally shot in Florida last month, spoke out on Wednesday, saying the account of a phone call between Trayvon and a female friend moments before he was shot proves their son did nothing wrong.
"To me it proves that he wasn't walking around the neighborhood doing anything suspicious," Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father, told Matt Lauer on the "Today" show. "He was on his way home. He had every right to have on his hoodie. It was raining. Why not put on his hoodie to prevent getting wet?"
The girl, whose identity has not been revealed, said that Trayvon pulled his hoodie over his head when it appeared someone was following him.
"So she says run, and (Martin) says 'I'm not going to run, I'm just going to walk fast,'" family attorney Ben Crump said. "And at that point, she hears Trayvon say, 'Why are you following me?' And that's when she said she hears the other boy say, 'What are you doing around here?'"
She did not initially come forward, but phone records show she called Trayvon shortly before the shooting.
"She is a 16-year-old teenager who just lost a friend very special to her," Crump told Lauer. "Her parents are very concerned. They did not want her to get involved, and it wasn't until Mr. Martin found the phone records and saw that she called him at 7:12. The police got on the scene at 7:17, and he was shot and dead on the ground."
"She was distraught because of the situation that happened with Trayvon and the fact that she was on the phone with him right before the incident occurred," Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother, added. "She was hospitalized. She also mentioned to us that she had feelings for Trayvon, so it hurt her dearly to know that he had passed away."
After a nationwide outcry, the U.S. Justice Department said late Monday it would investigate the shooting. On Tuesday afternoon, the state attorney for Brevard and Seminole counties, Norman Wolfinger, said his office would conduct its own investigation, beginning April 1o.
The federal probe, to be conducted by the FBI and the Justice Department's civil rights division, looks set to focus on whether the shooter, George Zimmerman, violated 17-year-old Martin's civil rights by targeting him because of his race. Martin was African-American.
Zimmerman, a Hispanic, was patrolling the streets of a gated community in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, when he spotted Martin and told a police dispatcher that a "black male" was acting "suspicious." Zimmerman, 28, ignored a warning from the dispatcher not to pursue Martin, and a violent confrontation ensued, leaving Martin dead. Zimmerman told local police he acted in self-defense, and he has not been detained or charged, though questions have been raised about the thoroughness of the police investigation.
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