A member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) on Wednesday called the shooting of Trayvon Martin a hate crime.

“I, personally, really truly believe this is a hate crime,” said Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) in a joint interview with CBC Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) on CNN.

The CBC has called for an investigation into Martin’s death based on its concern that racial profiling was involved, and has questioned Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows an individual who feels threatened to “stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force.”

Martin, a 17-year-old African-American, was shot and killed in a Florida gated community by Neighborhood Watchman George Zimmerman. Zimmerman said he was acting in self-defense after the teen punched him and smashed his head into the pavement, which has been corroborated by witnesses, according to local reports.

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