Families of black shooting victims say the United States is unsafe for African-American youths and more is needed to be done to protect them from authorities, after a white policeman killed an unarmed black teenager in Missouri last week.
The protests have been held in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, every night since 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot multiple times and killed by police on Saturday.
On Thursday, US President Barack Obama called for “peace and calm” and urged police to respect protesters. He also demanded an investigation into the killing.
Sybrina Fulton, the mother of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who was killed by a Florida neighborhood watchman, voiced her concerns on Thursday.
She said young black teenagers in the US feel threatened by authorities and that far more needs to be done to protect them.
“We should put our heads together to come up with a solution so our young people can stop dying and so they can have a future,” Fulton said.
“I think far more needs to be done,” she stated on the sidelines of a United Nations review in Geneva of the record on fight against racial discrimination in the United States.
“My heart goes out to Michael Brown’s family. I know they are hurting,” Fulton said on Tuesday in reaction to the police killing of Brown. “My family and I continue to pray for them during their darkest hour of burying a child.”
“It just reinforced our focus that we needed to get busy and we needed to work on some type of way to prevent this from happening to somebody else’s teenager,” she added.
Her son’s killer, George Zimmerman, was subsequently acquitted of murder charges after claiming self-defense.
United Nations statistics show that African Americans make up thirteen percent of the US population. Fifty percent of them fall victim to homicide.
In an interview with Press TV on April 16, 2012, Malcolm X’s grandson, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, commented on the murder of Trayvon Martin, saying blacks are murdered with impunity in the US because the system is unjust.
He said this occurs because there is institutionalized racism in the United States.
Ron Davis, the father of another young African American who was killed in a shooting, also called for more action to end discrimination against blacks in the US.
“If my son had been white, I think it wouldn’t have happened,” Davis stated.
Jordan Davis, 17, was shot and killed by a white man in November 2012 in Florida following an argument over loud music.
Davis was listening to music in his vehicle when 45-year-old businessman Michael Dunn approached him. The man asked the teenager to lower the sound of his stereo system. A verbal argument ensued which ended with Dunn pulling out a gun and shooting Davis.