TAMPA — Like black Americans nationwide, City Council member Frank Reddick said he watched the George Zimmerman verdict come in Saturday, and he understands the outrage that has people marching on behalf of Trayvon Martin.
But Reddick said something as serious happened Sunday in Tampa: Family Dollar store manager Horsley Shorter Jr. was shot dead by a robber who police say was, like his victim, black.
"I want to say today I'm equally outraged," Reddick said during a six-minute statement at the end of Thursday's council meeting.
"Where is the outrage in this community about this black-on-black crime? This family deserves justice, just as the Trayvon Martin family deserves justice."
Reddick recalled details of Shorter's life: A retired veteran of the U.S. Army. A son who came home to help his ailing mother. A man "killed trying to earn a living for his family."
"We must be prepared to explore this issue," he said. "Twenty years serving his country. And he's dead, by someone who looked just like him, and there's no outrage. No one is protesting, no one is walking this neighborhood asking for justice to be served.
"The killer of this person is still loose," Reddick said, referring to the suspect, identified by police as 23-year-old felon Demetrius L. Parks. "This person is hiding in someone's home. This person is being protected by someone in this community. …
"Where is the outrage?" he asked. "No one is marching for black-on-black crime. That is the problem in our community. No one is speaking about black-on-black crime, and that's the problem in our community. … We need to make some changes, and I hope we start soon."
As Reddick spoke, his colleagues sat riveted.
"That was one of the most powerful things that I think I've heard in two years on council," Lisa Montelione said.
"When you march," Chairman Charlie Miranda told Reddick, "we'll march with you."