The shooter, Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman, has remained free since the incident. Martin was unarmed; Zimmerman has claimed he was acting in self-defense. Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have questioned whether racial profiling was involved in the case. Martin was African-American, and Zimmerman of Hispanic descent.
Earlier this week, Robert Zimmerman, George’s father, accused the groups weighing in on the issue of seeking “notoriety or profit.” He also criticized President Obama, who called for a probe into the incident.
"I never foresaw so much hate coming from the president, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP," Robert Zimmerman said in an interview with Orlando's FOX 35 News.
“As a parent he’s trying to defend [his son] … he’s grieving and maybe that is the basis for his remarks,” Jackson Lee said of Robert Zimmerman. “But I’m very disappointed he would take to the airwaves with such language.
“Why doesn’t he cry out for justice?” she asked. “Every citizen has the right for the justice system to work for them.”
Jackson Lee distanced herself, and the others who have called for an arrest, from a group calling itself the New Black Panther Party that has offered a $10,000 reward for Zimmerman in Florida.
“None of us are associated with” the bounty, she said. “But we want an arrest.”
She cautioned that an arrest would only be an “acknowledgement” that further investigation is needed.
“There is too much conflicting information that points to the misinformation that has been given by everybody that is trying to defend the alleged perpetrator, George Zimmerman,” she said. “An arrest is not a conviction. That should not be something people should be appalled at if they favor Mr. Zimmerman.”
She also criticized the Florida criminal justice system for allowing the layers of conflicting evidence to be “peeled away” via the media and court of public opinion.
Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law allows an individual who feels threatened to "stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force."
Jackson Lee and others have called for further study of the law, as well as similar laws in other states.