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Trayvon Martin’s mom: Stand Your Ground law is ‘awful’

Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, spoke at the Ohio Union March 3. Credit: Desiaire Rickman / Lantern photographer

Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, spoke at the Ohio Union March 3.
Credit: Desiaire Rickman / Lantern photographer

Seeing her child dressed in a white suit stretched out across the coffin “like an angel,” Sybrina Fulton did what she described as something no mother wants to do — bury her own child.

Fulton is the mother of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old shot Feb. 26, 2012, by neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman, allegedly in self-defense, in Florida. Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in July.

“The worst day of my life was a few days after he had been shot and killed and I had to attend his funeral. I want you to live through my pain. I want you to feel what I am feeling without going through what I go through, and that’s why I came out and talk to you,” Fulton said at an event at the Ohio Union Monday evening.

Fulton said she disagrees with the concept behind any Stand Your Ground law.

“I think it’s awful that you have a law that gives a person the right to shoot and kill without being held accountable. I think you need to be accountable when you shoot and kill someone and there should not be a law that allows that to happen,” Fulton said in a press conference Monday before her talk.

The Stand Your Ground law allows for the use of deadly force in a self-defense situation and is in place in Florida, where Martin was killed.

A Stand Your Ground law has been considered in Ohio. In November, the Ohio House passed a bill with a Stand Your Ground provision that would not require people who are in a place they are legally allowed to be to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense. The bill is currently at the Ohio Senate awaiting a decision.

Davida Haywood, senior executive director of the Ohio State Multicultural Center, said solving the issue of racial profiling begins at the OSU campus.

“(Acknowledging that racial profiling is an issue has) been a long time coming given what happened here at the institution two years ago. And I think what tonight really exemplifies is the coming together of a village to say that we are not going to stand for being like this anymore and it’s going to take all of us as members of that village to make a difference and to impact change,” Haywood said.

In April 2012, the words “Long Live Zimmerman” were spray-painted on OSU’s Hale Hall, a building that was demolished in 2013 and previously held the Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center. The incident was labeled a hate crime.

The reference, officials said at the time, was most likely to the Zimmerman-Martin case. The incident prompted the creation of the No Place for Hate Task Force and multiple campus demonstrations, including a protest that interrupted an April 2012 Board of Trustees meeting. The No Place for Hate Task Force came up with short- and long-term recommendations in the areas of awareness, climate and recruitment to combat racism, including the creation of hate crime alerts.

In the Monday press conference, Fulton said she has traveled throughout the country since Martin’s death, speaking to different universities and religious gatherings as an advocate.

Fulton said the Trayvon Martin Foundation, inspired by Martin’s death, aims to bring awareness and support to victims of gun violence.

“We felt that it was necessary and we felt that it was a missing piece in the communities that had so much violence and did not have anywhere to turn to,” Fulton said.

Fulton said colleges and universities were the reason Martin’s death was brought to the nation’s attention.

“That’s why it’s so important for us (the foundation) to come to the colleges and universities. Because it was the colleges and universities that started the movement, that started the rallies because they were upset,” Fulton said during the event.

Nichelle Veasey, a fourth-year in women’s studies, said she thought it was encouraging Fulton was able to be a inspirational speaker after the death of her son.

“I followed what had happened and I followed the trial and I felt like it was not fair, and that he really did not get his justice. And at the end of the day I support (Martin and his family),” Veasey said.

OSU Student Life, Student Life’s Multicultural Center and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion were some of the organizations that sponsored the event, hosted by 10TV news anchor and OSU alumna Tracy Townsend.

Richard Bailey, a third-year in communication, said he attended the event to learn about how Fulton overcame adversity.

“I believe in God, and I realized he had a true calling for (Fulton). Sometimes sacrifices have to be made to get the message out there. It’s terrible to lose a life, but so many other lives will be changed because of this,” Bailey said.

During the event, Larry Williamson, director of the Hale Center, awarded Fulton with a Kente cloth, which is a handmade African cloth.

“The award is a Kente cloth and in African history and religion and in African society, it’s one of the highest honors that you can get, so therefore what we do is when people make major accomplishments to the world, to our community, we want to honor that,” Williamson said.

Fulton said she hoped the audience took away one main message.

“If you cut me open from the inside, and I line a 100 people and cut them open, you would never know what color they were from the outside,”​ Fulton said. “We have to get past the color of each person’s skin.”


  1. I always base my views on the opinions of a semi-literate mother of a homophobe. Thanks for the update.

  2. I know a way to guarantee you not to get shot and killed. Don’t jump on top of somebody and start beating them.

  3. The Trayvon case had nothing to do with the stand your ground law.

    A jury determined he attacked Zimmerman, not the other way around. Given what we later learned around Trayvon — multiple suspensions, caught was burglary tools, stolen property and drugs — he was the just the kind of person who should be watched carefully when in the neighborhood.

  4. Neither the vicitim nor the perpetrator were sympathetic individuals.


  5. I can feel the comments section brewing here. there are already some racist remarks above.

    good for her, keep on the just fight!

    rip trayvon

  6. It’s interesting that if you have no real argument or understanding you can always default to calling your opponent racist.

    As is tradition, the media has no intention of discussing how or why stand your ground laws came about, and TommyS is completely correct that the defense of Zimmerman had exactly zero to do with stand your ground.

    Stand your ground laws came about because people were being victimized and if they chose to fight back, even inside their own homes, they would have to go to court and prove that they had no way to retreat (aka guilty until proven innocent). So, after being victimized once by the criminal, they have to go to court and defend themselves a second time because any prosecutor can come up a hundred hypotheticals for what you could have done.

    On top of all that, if the criminal was injured or killed in the process of victimizing you, s/he and/or his/her family will sue you for civil liabilities.

    Stand your ground laws do nothing more than switch the burden of proof to the state to prove that your actions were not self defense (aka innocent until proven guilty) and shield the victim from civil liability, if not guilty of a criminal offense. You are NOT protected under syg laws if you are the aggressor.

  7. g.b. When was race brought up at all? It’s awful that somebody died but people should expect consequences if you are going to attack somebody.

  8. For all her talk of accountability, she has yet to hold her son accountable for his actions leading up to and on that night. Sad.

  9. She is saying lawful self-defense is awful. She neglected to mention that her son was committing attempted murder at the time he was shot. The evidence presented to the court, as well as the decision, confirms my statement.

  10. Your son may have ‘looked like an angel’ in his casket, but he was nothing more than a thug. It called personal responsibility lady.

  11. And how does the Stand Your Ground law have anything to do with the Zimmerman/Martin case?

  12. Ms Fulton is passing off falshoods as the SYG law has zero to do with the Zimmerman case and the incident in which Martin was killed.

    Ms Seghiri’s article:

    * uses the “stand your ground” catchphrase
    * provides repeated false information quoted by others
    * makes false statements about “stand your ground”

    Florida’s 2005 SB 436 (the “stand your ground” law) has nothing to do with “allows for deadly force in a self-defense situation.”

    SYG does not “allow” for deadly force.
    SYG is not a decision to shoot.
    Never was.

    In order to have a meaningful discussion, please begin with factual information and not flat-out false statements.

    Ms Seghiri’s article contains the multiple blatant falsehoods and logical fallacies.
    Ms Seghiri’s article is unsupported.

  13. She says this WHILE standing her ground, and expecting others to back off. Sounds familiar.

  14. Candy should use the money she has extorted to help educate teenage black males. Teach them to stay in school, steer clear of homies and the syzzurp users and don’t ask your father to buy you a gun or sell plant to your friends. This information might enable a similar kid to make lifestyle changes that could lead to becoming an astronaut.

    To effect any change, Candy has to accept her son for what he was and talk about what she and Fruit could have done differently. Even after the stolen jewelry was returned to the MDPD and matched to a burglary near the high school, Candy has not once acknowledged that her angel was a thief and she had kicked him out of her house.

    Big old crocodile tears will not help the other Tarvons learning MMA skills in the hood. Parental discipline and acceptance of responsibility is what these young men sorely lack.

  15. What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious experience concerning unexpected

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