Trayvon Martin Resonates: African American Senate Chaplain Tells Own Story

Source: Deirdre Walsh / CNN

Washington – Senate Chaplain Barry Black joined a rally organized by congressional staffers to draw attention to the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin and recounted how he was frisked by three police officers 25 years ago while on a walk.

Black, a retired and decorated Navy Admiral who is African American, appeared at the event on the Capitol steps dubbed “Hoodies on the Hill.” Aides for both Democratic and Republican members of Congress wore hooded shirts and carried bags of Skittles, candy the teen bought before he was killed while walking in a Sanford, Florida community.

Black told the story of his experience in 1987 when he had just moved to San Diego as a Navy Commander and was walking near his home when he abruptly found himself thrown on the hood of a car by the police.

Saying his mother warned him not to provoke anyone, Black said the police officer “informed me that they had received three phone calls that a suspicious person was walking through the neighborhood and they thought maybe he might be casing homes. And so that was the reason why I was being frisked without being asked for any kind of identification or anything.”

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