LA City Councilman Parks criticizes handling of Trayvon Martin shooting

Signs of support for Trayvon Martin

Jose Martinez / KPCC

Signs of support for Trayvon Martin during a protest at Pershing Square in Downtown L.A.

Some Baptist ministers in South Los Angeles say they’ve waited too long for an arrest in the death of a black 17-year-old in Florida. One month after Trayvon Martin died, L.A. City Councilman Bernard Parks has added his voice to the chorus.

Parks, a former LAPD chief, joined the ministers at McCoy Memorial Baptist Church. He says that if the shooting had happened here, the police investigation wouldn't just look at whether the individual felt threatened, but rather if the threat "was real" at all.

“Because we can all be threatened," summed up Parks. "It doesn’t warrant deadly force.”

Parks said lawmakers too loosely interpreted the Florida law that allows people to use deadly force for self-protection. He also criticized the pace of the investigation and warned that evidence and witness testimony deteriorate as the days pass.

New details of the case depict Martin as the aggressor, but many people still want Sanford, Florida police to arrest George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot the teenager.

Angelenos protested the shooting Monday afternoon in downtown L.A.’s Pershing Square.

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