Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Responds to the George Zimmerman Verdict

Jul 17, 2013, 08:55 ET from Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In the aftermath of George Zimmerman being found "not guilty" of killing Trayvon Martin in the widely watched second-degree murder and manslaughter trial in Sanford, Florida,  Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., stated, "I and the members of our organization were saddened by the verdict in this trial.  As father of two young sons and presently the leader of a predominately African-American male organization, the outcome of the trial makes this tragedy personal to every member of our Fraternity."


"Trayvon Martin's death is both tragic and unnecessary. The tragedy is not just for Trayvon's family, but for all Brothers of Sigma and all communities across this United States." President Mason added, "Our prayers and support go out to Trayvon Martin's family and also to every African American teenage male across America."

President Mason further added that he understands the passion and the frustration which occurs around these types of verdicts, however the Brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. must allow the justice system to work as it is constructed to do.

Dr. Ivory W. Lyles, Director of Social Action for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. called the verdict a "miscarriage of justice". According to Dr. Lyles, "this young man was profiled, followed, shot and killed, but George Zimmerman is not being held accountable. It is time for our young men to stop being criminalized. Phi Beta Sigma stands with other organizations all across America who are calling for this verdict to not be the end of circumstances but for the U.S. Department of Justice to review the case, immediately."

Dr. Lyles points out that there are several issues present in this case which Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. will use to strengthen the Brotherhood's work within the various communities and college campuses where the Fraternity is present. Phi Beta Sigma will continue to educate others and provide resolutions on (1) Race profiling and what to do when it is exposed and (2) Gun violence in our communities.

CONTACT:  Ron Carter of The Carter Agency, +1-323-864-7092

SOURCE Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.