Trayvon Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, spoke out for the first time on Thursday in the wake of George Zimmerman being acquitted of all charges in the shooting death of their 17-year-old son.
"We felt in our hearts that we were going to get a conviction," Martin told Matt Lauer during an appearance on Today. "We thought that the killer of our unarmed child was going to be convicted of the crime that he committed."
Added Fulton, "I think (the legal system) failed Trayvon to a certain degree. I think we let the process take its course. We didn't get the verdict that we were looking for because we wanted (Zimmerman) to be held accountable. Our focus has continued to change. First it was for the arrest, then it was for a conviction. So now we've moved on to a different focus, but yes, I think we were disappointed."
When asked if there's anything they would like to say to the jury regarding the verdict, Martin replied, "I just didn't understand how can you let the killer of an unarmed child go free. What would your verdict have been had it been your child? There's no winners in this case at all. It's just I want them to put themselves in our shoes."
Fulton noted that the verdict sends "a terrible message to other little black and brown boys that you can't walk fast, you can't walk slow, so what do they do? How do you get home without people knowing or either assuming that you're doing something wrong? Trayvon wasn't doing anything wrong."
As for whether or not Trayvon's parents can ever forgive Zimmerman, Martin simply said, "I think that the forgiveness is like a healing process. Forgiveness takes time. The Bible says that you have to forgive and forget, but the healing process is a long process and the forgiving process is a long process."
(E! and Today are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)