For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Sandhya Bathija, (202) 675-2312;
Vesna Jaksic, ACLU national, (212) 284-7347 or 549-2666;

ACLU To Testify at Congressional Forum on Trayvon Martin Case

WASHINGTON - Dennis Parker, director of the ACLU Racial Justice Program, is scheduled to testify today before a Congressional Democratic forum, “The Role of the Federal Government and Hate Crimes.”

“The tragic death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent response of the Sanford, Florida, Police Department raise, yet again, disturbing issues of the biased perception of young men of color and the continuing failure of the criminal justice system to protect people of all races,” Parker said. “Trayvon’s family and the nation deserve a full and fair investigation of the killing, as well as a thorough examination of the fatal effects that racial discrimination has in our country. The failure to take decisive steps now will only ensure that this tragedy will be repeated.”

In his testimony, Parker asks for: the Department of Justice (DOJ), the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to investigate the response of the Sanford Police Department following Trayvon’s shooting; a thorough examination into whether the shooting was a federal hate crime; full funding for the DOJ Civil Rights Division to conduct investigations into civil rights violations by law enforcement across the nation; and for Congress to pass the End Racial Profiling Act and urge the administration to strengthen DOJ guidance on the use of race by federal law enforcement agencies.

To read the testimony, go here:

To read Parker’s blog post on the hearing, go here:


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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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