|Updated: 7/25/2012 9:24 am
||Published: 7/24/2012 5:25 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The parents of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teen shot and killed earlier this year, told a group in Little Rock on Tuesday that the problem of profiling extends far beyond their son’s case.
Trayvon Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton and his father Tracy Martin addressed the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives or "N.O.B.L.E.".
Martin's parents credit members of "NOBLE" within the Sanford Police Department in suburban Orlando, Florida from keeping their son's shooting from going unnoticed.
"At that time, we had no idea how big it was or how big it was going to be,” Fulton says. “At the time we were just fighting as parents for our children."
Today they say their focus is unchanged.
They are waiting on the criminal case against George Zimmerman, the man charged with second degree murder for shooting Trayvon Martin in February.
"This could have been any of your kids,” Martin says. “This is not a white or black issue. This is about a right and wrong thing."
The incident set off a fierce national debate on vigilantism and profiling.
Zimmerman says he felt threatened by Trayvon and defended himself by shooting him. Martin, 17, was unarmed.
His father says he wants to turn his son's death into a teachable moment.
"We're talking about profiling in general,” Martin says. “Whether it be your gender, what you have on, what you eat. Profiling is profiling. It's wrong."
It's a message his parents will continue to spread around the nation to any audience that will listen.
LRPD sergeant Cassandra Davis says Martin's parents were not compensated for their appearance.
The Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump says the case is an important precedent for states with so called "stand-your-ground" laws.
A Florida law passed in 2005 doesn't require someone to retreat if they believe they are in grave danger. That’s a key difference to the law here in Arkansas.