By Debbie Emery – Radar Reporter
The gunning down of an innocent Florida teen has caused outrage among those who believe it was racially motivated, and now Trayvon Martin’s parents are speaking out about their anguish over their son’s death.
Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin open up to Anderson Cooper on Thursday’s episode of his talk show, where they reveal how they believe that race played a huge part in the shooting of the 17-year-old African American — and RadarOnline.com has a clip of their emotional interview.
When asked by Cooper if they think that neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman would have been arrested if their son had been white, Tracy replies, “I honestly believe had Trayvon been a white kid he would have been arrested. Zimmerman would have been arrested.
“I just feel as though the Sanford Police Department is doing us an injustice. They actually are trying to sweep our son’s death under the rug,” claims the grieving father.
“Trayvon was a person, he wasn’t just a statistic, he was loved by his family, he was loved by his friends. I just refuse to stop pursuing the arrest of Mr. Zimmerman until he is arrested.”
Martin was walking home from a local 7-Eleven store on February 26 when he was shot and killed by Zimmerman, 28, who claims he opened fire in self defense despite the fact the only “weapons” the unarmed teen was carrying were a bag of Skittles candy, his cell phone and a bottle of iced tea.
The last few seconds of Trayvon’s life were captured on a cell phone call with his 16-year-old girlfriend, and her account of the incident drastically contradicts Zimmerman’s claim that the teen was acting suspiciously and was the aggressor in their confrontation.
During a disturbing 911 call, Zimmerman is heard saying: “These a**holes, they always get away,” and Anderson presses Martin’s parents to reveal how they thought when hearing the toxic words.
“That Zimmerman had in his mind at that point that he wasn’t going to let whoever that individual was get away. That he just wanted confrontation. He was told by the dispatcher to stand down, don’t follow this individual, he pursued it anyway,” says Tracy.
Later in the interview, they say they are adamant that it is Trayvon that can be heard calling for help in the background of the emergency call.
“Yes I do. I believe that’s Trayvon Martin, that’s my baby’s voice. Every mother knows their child and that’s his voice,” reveals his mother, Sybrina.
Tracy goes on to claim that he believes his son was afraid for his life. “He saw his death coming. He saw his death coming. The screams got more frantic. At that second that we heard the shot the screams just completely stopped. He saw his death, he was pleading for his life,” he says.
It has been 25 days since the killing, and while no charges have yet been filed against Zimmerman, the Martins believe that justice will ultimately be served.
“It’s a nightmare. It’s hard to sleep. Everything reminds me of him and the only thing that’s fueling us to keep pressing on for justice is the fact that we know that justice will be served,” pledges Sybrina, who adds, “I cry everyday. I can hear the 911 tapes in my head. I can hear him yelling. It’s just very difficult as a mother to know that I had to bury my child.”
There has been an outpouring of support for Trayvon that has resulted in the fastest growing online petition in Internet history, according to Change.org, which is now at 800,000 signatures and growing at a rate of 800 a minute.
A host of celebrities from hip hop icon and entrepreneur Russell Simmons to new age leader Deepak Chopra to director Spike Lee have written and tweeted calling for justice for Martin, and the combined momentum has caused the Department of Justice to reveal that they are planning to investigate Martin’s shooting as a possible hate crime.
“We don’t want to have another family go through this. We are very appreciative that the community across the nation is standing behind us and asking the same questions that we are asking,” concludes Tracy.
“Why isn’t George Zimmerman arrested? We want an arrest, we want him to have a fair trial. We are not asking for an eye for an eye but we want justice for our son. The only thing that will ease the pain is seeing him being punished for the crime that he committed.”
The full interview airs on Anderson on Thursday, March 22.
You can watch a clip of the interview right here on RadarOnline.com.