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A Special Edition Of Focus On Empowerment
Shocked by some and celebrated by others, the George Zimmerman not guilty verdict certainly touched the third rail of race in the judicial system around the country and beyond. It is an established fact that George Zimmerman did kill Trayvon Martin on a rainy day in February 2012. The question remains what precipitated the tragic death of an unarmed 17 year old, merely walking home with a bag of Skiddles and a can of Arizona iced tea The judge, jury and executioner became an armed neighborhood watchman wary of young black men wearing hoodies.
It’s all on trial here in Florida...Stand Your Ground. Gun Laws. Self Defense Trials. And the never ending saga of RACE in America.
Tampa Based Attorney Warren Hope Dawson is our guest today. A veteran attorney who mentored Attorneys Daryl Parks and Benjamin Crump, the lawyers representing Trayvon Martin’s parents. He’ll walk us through the Florida legal system that yielded Saturday night’s not guilty verdict.
Special thanks to my brother, Attorney Wilson Copeland, for helping to arrange the interview with Attorney Dawson.
Attorney Warren Hope Dawson Biographical Profile
Source: A September 14, 2011 Article In The Tampa Tribune
Dawson represented the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in a lawsuit that desegregated the Hillsborough County School District. Litigation lasted 27 years, from 1974 to 2001. He also participated in a voting rights case, Warren v. City of Tampa, which challenged the at-large system of city council elections and led to the creation of single-member districts in the city and county.
He also lobbied for the Florida legislature to adopt single-member districts.
In 1970 he ran for a state House seat. Though he did not win, Dawson became the first black candidate to be in a runoff in Hillsborough County since Reconstruction.
He was the first black hired in the National Labor Review Board's Tampa regional office and was the city's first black assistant city attorney.
Prior to the 1990 Super Bowl in Tampa, Dawson pushed for the integration of the then, all-white Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. He also lobbied against a proposed theme park that would have featured a slave ship.
Dawson served as the 40th president of the National Bar Association and was inducted into the organization's Hall of Fame; is a life member of The Fellows of the American Bar Association Foundation; and was the national president of the Howard University Law Alumni Association.
Born in Mulberry, Dawson is only the second black graduate of a Polk County high school to become a lawyer. He received a degree in political science from FAMU in 1961; was an officer in the U.S. Army on active duty from 1961 to 1963; and received his law degree from Howard University in 1966.
While at FAMU, he was an Army ROTC distinguished military student, the voice of "The Marching 100," lead speaker on the varsity debating team and a member of the university's choir.
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