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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.

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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