Congress should investigate gun laws, the lack of regulations on local neighborhood watch groups and the social status of black men and boys, a group of House Democrats said Tuesday at a forum spurred by the shooting last month of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, reports USA Today. Martin’s parents attended the Capitol Hill panel, which also debated racial profiling, hate crimes and “Stand Your Ground” self-defense laws.
The panel was convened by Michigan Rep. John Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. George Zimmerman, 28, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Martin, has not been charged with a crime. The case underscored the lack of clear standards on how to investigate incidents involving claims of self-defense, said Rep. Corrine Brown, a Florida Democrat who represents Sanford, where the shooting occurred. Brown said of the controversy, “I don’t know whether it’s incompetent, it’s a coverup or if it’s all of the above.” Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., said, “Trayvon Martin was murdered in Sanford, Fla. No arrests have been made, and, in my opinion, an arrest should be made, and I will not rest until an arrest is made.”