The family of Trayvon Martin is speaking out against a group using the slain, unarmed teen’s name after they called for “dead cops” during a rally in New York City on December 13.
While many leaders in the Black community have been begging for peace following the deaths of unarmed teen Michael Brown and unarmed Staten Island father Eric Garner by police, one group of protesters took to the streets of New York to call for “dead cops.”
The family of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was fatally shot by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, is not only against the message but against the use of Martin’s name in the organization’s title.
A group called the “Trayvon Martin Organizing Committee” is believed to be behind the New York protest during
which marchers chanted, “What do we want? Dead cops.”
Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said that isn’t the message she wants anyone giving if they are going to use her son’s name.
“Our family is in no way affiliated with the ‘Trayvon Martin Organizing Committee,’ and we adamantly reject its unauthorized use of our son’s name recently to carry a message of violence,” said Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton in a joint statement to the Daily Beast. “As we have stated repeatedly in the past, our family rejects any kind of violence directed toward members of law enforcement and to our community in general. It cannot and will not be tolerated. We must work together to peacefully bring about change to our communities. Violence is never the answer.”
It isn’t the first time that the family of a slain, unarmed Black teen has spoken out against those encouraging violence after 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley fatally shot two NYPD officers last weekend.
Garner’s daughter, Emerald Garner, recently visited the memorial for officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
“I just had to come out and let their family know that we stand with them, and I’m going to send my prayers and condolences to all the families who are suffering through this tragedy,” she said, according to The Daily Beast.
She also spoke to ABC News and said that neither she nor her family are “anti-police.”
“Like I said before, I have family that’s in the NYPD that I’ve grown up around, family reunions and everything, so my family, you know, we’re not anti-police,” she said.
Meanwhile, many have tried to blame movements like #BlackLivesMatter for encouraging Brinsley to execute the officers.
Many protest organizers simply don’t agree.
“We don’t believe this movement has any connection to what took place in Brooklyn, and we think any suggestion otherwise is a smear,” said Eugene Puryear, an organizer for the Answer Coalition.
Puryear also said he rejects the idea that peaceful protests are creating an atmosphere of “chaos.”