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Alexandria Considering Trayvon Martin Resolution

Members of Alexandria's Human Rights Commission draft resolution supporting Martin's family and denouncing racial profiling.

Alexandria City Council is considering a resolution supporting the family of Trayvon Martin, denouncing racial profiling and “reaffirming the city’s commitment to ensuring and protecting the rights of all.”

In February, Martin, a black teenager, was fatally shot by community watchman George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla. The incident became internationally recognized and spurred discussions about race in the United States.

Last month, about 100 people attended . Mayor Bill Euille addressed the crowd, saying it’s important to seek justice, fairness and equity and to show love and respect in regards to race relations.

Alexandria Human Rights officials presented the resolution to Council on Tuesday. Councilmembers opted to defer a vote on the document because of concerns raised by some of the resolution’s clauses that denounce the investigation and response to Martin’s death by the Sanford Police Department.

“What we would like to do is see statements of fact in the whereas clauses [in the resolution] as opposed to conclusions that are at least expressions of judgment,” Vice Mayor Kerry Donley said.

Jean Niebauer, director of Alexandria’s Office on Human Rights, and Alexandria Human Rights Commission Vice President Ludwig Gaines told councilmembers that they wanted to confront issues of racial profiling, vigilantism and Florida’s "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows citizens to use deadly force in public areas in self-defense.

Niebauer said the commission wanted to address a national problem in “accountability with crimes against minorities.”

“If the sense of the commission is to object to the Stand-Your-Ground law, then it shouldn’t be in a whereas clause, it should be in a resolve clause asking us to affirm our opposition to statutes such as Stand-Your-Ground which create a presumption on the use of force… which I am more than happy to support,” Donley said.

Councilman Rob Krupicka asked Niebauer and Gaines to add language into the resolution about how Alexandria and its police department operate in regards to the issue of racial profiling.

“Whenever we do resolutions like this, if we can kind of tie it back to specific guidance to the operation of the city, it adds weight to them,” he said.

Niebauer and Gaines said they would rework the resolution and bring it back to City Hall later this month.

Derrick Jones May 11, 2012 at 07:56 PM
How silly. The Alex City Council has no 1st hand knowledge what happened in Florida. The only reason it cares is because the kid was black. Now were he Greek or Iranian or Irish would it give a damn?
Missy Ruggerio May 11, 2012 at 08:22 PM
I can appreciate the Alexandria Human Rights Commission discussing this case as a means to fine tune their knowledge base to help them assess future local issues but, the thought of the Alexandria HRC drafting any unofficial or official resolution and to defend the Martin family is tantamount to gross negligence and is a unilateral, uneducated and unsupported decision. While I'm sure the HRC is comprised of highly skilled and extremely loyal Alexandrians, they have in no way been afforded the evidence that will be presented at trial and, I'm assuming have had no personal contact with either George Zimmerman or the Martin Family. Drafting such a resolution as an official City Commission puts the integrity of Alexandria and the integrity of the HRC at serious risk. Our City Council and City Attorney must act expeditiously to put a stop to this. Drafting such a resolution without any first hand knowledge is like claiming a dog is mean because it happens to be a Pit-Bull. Without every ounce of evidence, the actions of the HRC are nonsense and each participating member should be immediately removed from their respective positions.
Edgar Warfield May 11, 2012 at 08:28 PM
If the kid hadd been Greek or Irish, Zimmerman would have been arrested on the spot, that's the point of the whole thing. Yours, & c., E. Warfield
William T. Coyle May 11, 2012 at 08:52 PM
How about at least waiting until all the facts are in?
Missy Ruggerio May 11, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Exactly right Mr. Coyle.
Haunches May 11, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Gay Marriage? Abortion rights? Trayvon Martin? We must have solved all problems in the city to have time for matters that have zero to do with local government. Here's a better idea: do your jobs in schools, sanitation, roads and planning and let the talking heads on cable TV worry about a shooting in Florida and yell inanities at each other over it. Fannon was right to call out Holihan for wasting precious time on issues having nothing to do with local government. Get on cable TV or run for state office if you want to fight those fights. We have plenty of fish to fry, thank you very much
Missy Ruggerio May 11, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Haunches - I'm not going to comment on Sean because I wasn't at the ADC Debate but, you are right on with your comment. Well done friend.
Austin Powers May 11, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Why don't you pass a resolution in support of law-abiding neighbors who make an effort to keep an eye on their crime-ridden neighborhoods instead? Talk about prejudice, sheesh!
Ellie May 12, 2012 at 03:27 AM
This is the reason we need a new city council. The mayor of all people turned this into a black/white issue when he, as a black man, got personally involved in a rally a month ago without knowing the facts. A dangerous decision that makes him look like an Al Sharpton wannabe.
Brian Tretts May 12, 2012 at 11:37 AM
I wonder if the Alexandria city council passed a resolution in support of Tawna Brawley in 1987....
Jim Roberts May 12, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Well said. Concur on all points.
Ellie May 12, 2012 at 01:26 PM
No wonder other jurisdictions have so little respect for us. Remember BRAC? I would like to see the mission statement for the city council members.
McBrinn May 12, 2012 at 03:54 PM
You have anything to back up such a claim Edgar?
McBrinn May 12, 2012 at 03:56 PM
How absurd. Any council member that votes for this will be the laughing stock of Alexandria.
Diana May 15, 2012 at 09:19 PM
It is not the same thing and you know it. Do not trivialize the young man's death by comparing him to a lie and a hoax. Would you say the same thing if it were your friend or relative?
Diana May 15, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Yes, McBrinn, Edgar has a whole lot of history on his side to back up his claim. Where have you been living? Under a rock?

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