Holmes Norton to convene commission Tuesday to discuss Trayvon Martin case

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) on Tuesday will convene a meeting of her Commission on Black Men and Boys in Washington to discuss "Lessons from the Life and Death of Trayvon Martin."

The commission, which Norton founded several years ago, will hear from four witnesses and attempt to pull together lessons from Martin's February shooting, which has prompted a wave of criticism that his shooter, George Zimmerman, has yet to be arrested. Authorities in Florida say Zimmerman claimed Martin's death was an act of self-defense.

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"I commend our community for the almost spontaneous rallies for justice for Trayvon Martin," Holmes Norton said last week. "The national outpouring is clearly having an effect and will continue until an official law enforcement setting allows for justice for Trayvon in accordance with due process under the law for all concerned.

"However, this African-American boy has become both a personal tragedy and a larger than life symbol for the black families that, over the decades and centuries, have lost men and sons without accountability from those responsible," she added. "Trayvon's life, and certainly his death, demands not only a careful review of what happened in Sanford, Florida, but also of what we should do tomorrow in America about violence against African American men and boys."

Among the four witnesses at Tuesday's hearing will be Charles Rawlings, the father of a son who was killed in 2007, a 17-year-old chemistry student; the father of two teenage boys in D.C. public schools; and Corey Dade, a correspondent for National Public Radio Digital News.

Holmes said her commission was formed to hold hearings and work to "help resolve the issues that have a great impact on black men and boys, including criminal justice, education, and chronic unemployment." The hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the D.C. Armory, after which residents will be able to ask questions or make short statements.

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