The mother of Trayvon Martin offered her prayers to the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager shot to death by police in Ferguson, Missouri, and said that parents of slain children “will no longer be ignored.” Sybrina Fulton wrote in an open letter on Time magazine's website:
Further complicating the pain and loss in this tragedy is the fact that the killer of your son is alive, known, and currently free. In fact, he is on paid administrative leave. Your own feelings will bounce between sorrow and anger. Even when you don’t want to think about it because it is so much to bear, you will be forced to by merely turning on your television or answering your cell phone. You may find yourselves pulled in many different directions by strangers who may be well-wishers or detractors. Your circle will necessarily close tighter because the trust you once, if ever, you had in “the system” and their agents are forever changed. Your lives are forever changed.
Trayvon Martin, 17, who was black, was shot and killed in February 2012 during an altercation in a gated community of Sanford, Florida. The shooter, George Zimmerman, who is of white and Hispanic descent, said that he was acting in self-defense and was acquitted of second-degree murder. The case touched off a national debate about race and guns.