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Trayvon Martin’s parents are considering a run for public office

Sybrina Fulton, mother of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. (Image source: USA Today)

The parents of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager who was fatally shot in 2012 after a confrontation with George Zimmerman, are reportedly considering a run for political office.

Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, according to USA Today, are concerned President Donald Trump may suppress the conversation started by the Black Lives Matter movement in the years since their 17-year-old son's death. They told the newspaper they want to "be part of the change" they believe the country needs.

In 2012, Trayvon Martin's death sparked a firestorm of protests from people on every side of the issue. Zimmerman, a Hispanic man who was serving as a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida, at the time, killed the unarmed teenager in what he described as self defense.

All of this unfolded during former President Barack Obama's campaign for re-election, when he famously said, "You know, if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."

"All of us have to do some soul-searching to figure out how does something like this happen," he continued. "And that means that we examine the laws and the context for what happened as well as the specifics of the incident."

The ordeal led to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, prompting waves of protests across the U.S., with demonstrators taking to the streets to aggressively voice their opposition to the law enforcement community and police brutality toward the African American community.

Ultimately, Zimmerman was acquitted in 2013 on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

"Since Trayvon's death, we saw how divided the country is on these issues and we saw how the country can come together," Tracy Martin said. "You have those that are for uniting the country and you have those that want to be apart. And what this new presidency does, it takes those that want to be apart and it puts them right in the position where they can say, 'We'll change the laws, and we'll make it tougher.'"

Of Trump's rhetoric specifically, Tracy Martin said, "I think from the statements being made, we won't progress; we'll be going backwards."

Fulton and Tracy Martin's decision to consider running for office coincides with the release of their new book, "Rest in Power," which comes out Tuesday and outlines the intense public response that followed Trayvon Martin's death.

Fulton told USA Today's Susan Page that entering the political fray is "definitely something we are exploring."

"Instead of just telling somebody else, 'Listen, we need to change laws, we need to amend laws,' maybe that's something we need to take a look at," she said. "So we're kind of taking step back now to see if that's something we want to explore."

Tracy Martin said he and his wife would start with local office but would have their eyes set on reaching the national level.

"It could go all the way to the White House," Fulton said.

"There's no limitations," her husband agreed. "I think once you embark on a journey, you don't minimize your goal; you want to maximize your goals. So you start on the local level and then you work your way up and hopefully it will take us to a place where we can help more than just local, more than just state. National. That would be the focus."

Currently, though, the couple is considering positions like county or city commissioner.

Fulton made national headlines during the 2016 presidential election when she appeared with several other "Mothers of the Movement" at the Democratic National Convention in July to speak out against police brutality against black people.

"Average citizens feel like their kids are not going to make it home safely, because we’ve had so many incidents where somebody is shot and killed and nobody is being held accountable," she said at the time. "You have to bury a loved one, and on top of you burying a loved one, nobody is going to trial. Nobody is being arrested. Nobody is going to jail. And so it adds insult to injury."

Fulton's opposition to Trump stems from his hardline positions on immigration and Islam. She said the president's positions on such issues have "fed into that division, they fed into that hatred."

Their comments come just days after Trump signed an executive order putting a 120-day freeze on the U.S.'s refugee resettlement program and establishing a 90-day ban on entry into the country from seven predominantly Muslim nations as well as suspending refugee admissions from Syria indefinitely.

One last thing…
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