One week after a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin, people began to gather for rallies scheduled nationwide. Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, spoke to a New York City crowd.
Al Sharpton led the crowd in a chant of "I am Trayvon Martin!" and "No justice, no peace!" before challenging people to protest stand-your-ground laws and demanding that U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. pursue a civil rights case against Zimmerman because, Sharpton said, "Trayvon Martin had the civil right to go home that day."
Inspired by George Zimmerman's acquittal in the killing of teenager Trayvon Martin, and fueled by President Obama's remarks that it "could have been me," protesters rallied in 100 cities around the country on Saturday. More than 300 people gathered outside Washington, D.C.'s federal courthouse to call for justice, while Beyoncé and Jay-Z made an appearance at New York City's rally outside the NYPD headquarters. Hundreds also gathered in Miami to hear Martin's father speak. "We will do everything we can to make sure there's change," he said, "that's our promise to our son's memory."
Rally for Trayvon Martin Held in Los Angeles
Najee Ali, a leader of the Los Angeles march, agreed led hundreds of protesters who snaked through downtown. Ali urged them to not view the case as a "black and white issue."
"It was a right and wrong issue," he told a crowd of about 400. "Any time a young man goes to the store to buy some Skittles and some ice tea and then he is followed, he is profiled, he is murdered — that is wrong."
Thousands Attend Trayvon Rally in Miami
Thousands rallied outside the federal courthouse in downtown Miami Saturday.
Just a sampling of some of the rallies on Saturday for Trayvon. Enough to see that clearly, this issue resonates with many across the nation.
The gatherings had a common theme: to demand repeal of so-called stand-your-ground laws that permit use of deadly force in the face of perceived threats, even if retreating is an option; and to demand that the Department of Justice file federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, who said he shot Martin in self-defense.
Onikha Lemurian stood outside the federal courthouse in Detroit on Saturday, joining thousands of others who gathered for more than an hour to protest George Zimmerman’s acquittal this month in the slaying of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.