Rallying for justice

Across the U.S., people gather in honor of Trayvon Martin
Associated Press
Jul 20, 2013

One week after a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin, people gathered for nationwide rallies to press for changes to self-defense laws and for federal civil rights charges against the former neighborhood watch leader.

The Florida case has become a flashpoint in separate but converging national debates over self-defense, guns, and race relations. Zimmerman, who successfully claimed that he was protecting himself when he shot Martin, identifies himself as Hispanic. Martin was black.

"It's personal," said Cincinnati resident Chris Donegan, whose 11-year-old son wore a black hoodie to the rally, as Martin did when he died. "Anybody who is black with kids, Trayvon Martin became our son."

The Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network organized the "Justice for Trayvon" rallies and vigils outside federal buildings in at least 101 cities: from New York and Los Angeles to Wichita, Kan., and Atlanta, where people stood in the rain at the base of the federal courthouse, with traffic blocked on surrounding downtown streets.

Chants rang out across the rallies. "Justice! Justice! Justice! ... Now! Now! Now!" ''We won't forget." ''No justice! No peace!" Many also sang hymns, prayed and held hands.

And plenty of participants carried signs: "Who's next?" "I am Trayvon Martin." ''Enough Is Enough."

Most rallies began at noontime. In New York, hundreds of people — including music superstars Jay-Z and Beyonce, as well as Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton — gathered in the heat.

Fulton told the crowd she was determined to fight for societal and legal changes needed to ensure that black youths are no longer viewed with suspicion because of their skin color.

"I promise you I'm going to work for your children as well," she said to the rally crowd.

At a morning appearance at Sharpton's headquarters in Harlem, she implored people to understand that the tragedy involved more than Martin alone. "Today it was my son. Tomorrow it might be yours," she said.

In addition to pushing the Justice Department to investigate civil rights charges against Zimmerman, Sharpton told supporters he wants to see a rollback of stand-your-ground self-defense laws.

"We are trying to change laws so that this never, ever happens again," Sharpton said.

Stand-your-ground laws are on the books in more than 20 states, and they go beyond many older, traditional self-defense statutes. In general, the laws eliminate a person's duty to retreat in the face of a serious physical threat.

Zimmerman relied on a traditional self-defense argument and didn't invoke stand-your-ground, though the judge included a provision about it in instructions allowing jurors to consider it as a legitimate defense. And race wasn't discussed in front of the jury. But the two topics have dominated public discourse about the case, and came up throughout Saturday's rallies.

Part of Sharpton's comments echoed those made by President Barack Obama on the case Friday. "Racial profiling is not as bad as segregation, but you don't know the humiliation of being followed in a department store," Sharpton said.

In Indianapolis, the Rev. Jeffrey Johnson told about 200 attendees that the nationwide effort is about making life safer for young black men. Johnson said young black men still are endangered by racial profiling, and he compared Zimmerman's acquittal to that of four white officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King in 1992.

"The verdict freed George Zimmerman, but it condemned America more," said Johnson, pastor of the Eastern Star Church in Indianapolis and a member of the board of directors of the National Action Network.

In Miami, Tracy Martin spoke about his son.

"This could be any one of our children," he said. "Our mission now is to make sure that this doesn't happen to your child."

He recalled how he vowed to Trayvon as he lay in his casket that he would seek justice.

"I will continue to fight for Trayvon until the day I die," he said.

Shantescia Hill held a sign in Miami that read: "Every person deserves a safe walk home." The 31-year-old mother, who is black, said, "I'm here because our children can't even walk on the streets without fearing for their lives."

In his remarks Friday, Obama said it's a reality for black men in American to "be followed in a department store" while shopping or to walk down the street and "hear the car doors lock." The nation's first black president said he had both experiences before he rose to social and political prominence.

At the New Orleans rally, La'Monte Johnson shared some of the same experiences.

The California native said he's been stopped multiple times by police and handcuffed "because I fit the description of someone they were looking for," though he noted charges were never filed against him.

"You can be the greatest black guy around, but you can't get away from it," he said. "You're not equal."

Attorney General Eric Holder announced this week that his department would investigate whether Zimmerman could be charged under federal civil rights laws. Such a case would require evidence that Zimmerman harbored racial animosity against Martin. Most legal experts say that would be a difficult charge to bring. Zimmerman's lawyers have said their client wasn't driven by race, but by desire to protect his neighborhood.

Holder said the shooting demonstrates the need to re-examine stand-your-ground laws.

____

Associated Press writers Verena Dobnik in New York, Christine Armario in Miami, Stacey Plaisance in New Orleans, Amanda Lee Myers in Cincinnati and Charles Wilson in Indianapolis contributed to this report.

 

Comments

deertracker

No, America blindly followed an FBI profile. You have to admit that the sniper's actions were uncharacteristic for black criminals. I was shocked that they were black. I am not sure what I expected. Anyway, this was a guy planning to kill his wife and make it look like she was a random victim of the sniper! It was really more domestic in nature but actually turned out to be the actions of a terrorist! Race was not an issue.

goofus

The whole scenario smells just like the Duke Lacrosse team. Maybe we all can get some Arizona tea and skittles and make some purple drank!!!

deertracker

What??? C'mon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

goofus

Was not the Duke Lacrosse team guilty of raping the black woman in the lamestream state run media.They were all guilty because the media says they were except they all walked away and all charges were dropped.Google purple drank Trayvon spoke all the time of it on Facebook. Cough syrup, with codeine, skittles and Arizona iced tea, all the rappers are in to it.

getit right be4...

Here is a video that show FACTS not sells what it wants to sell.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E...

Centauri

"Here is a video that show FACTS not sells what it wants to sell."

Thank you for posting the link. The race-baiters and black racists do not want the facts. Some blacks know what the truth is and research the internet and also post youtube videos chastising the race-baiters, black racists and Obama. These blacks who seek the truth want the white racists to fade away. Instead the black racists have a heart full of hatred, even for white civil rights workers who were murdered in the south. These hateful black racists do not want racism to die, they refuse to follow MLK plea to judge people by their character and not by the color of their skin.

I have researched police cam videos that proved police lied when they shot an unarmed black person. I wasted my time because not one black person wanted additional information. Instead most blacks take what the main stream news media and race baiters take as gospel. The informed blacks use the internet to find out what is the truth.

Investigative reporting is very time consuming and many times, the powers that be refuse to hand over copies of public records. There have been cases where the powers that be "edited" or removed information from the original records or said that such public records do not exist when witnesses said the the records in fact do exist.

In addition to the previous posted link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E...

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2013/0...
"ORLANDO (CBSMiami/AP) — Defense attorneys for the Florida man accused of shooting and killing unarmed Miami teen Trayvon Martin have released photos and text messages from the teen’s cell phone ahead of a hearing that will determine whether they can be used at George Zimmerman’s trial."

•Evidence Photos 1
•Evidence Photos 2
•Evidence Photos 3

•Cell Phone Report 1
•Cell Phone Report 2
•Cell Phone Report 3
•Cell Phone Report 4
•Cell Phone Report 5
•Cell Phone Report 6
•Cell Phone Report 7
•Cell Phone Report 8

http://poorrichardsnews.com/post...
"Newly surfaced YouTube video shows Trayvon Martin participating in a “fight club""

Most blacks are in denial of the truth.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/d...
1: refusal to satisfy a request or desire

2:a (1): refusal to admit the truth or reality (as of a statement or charge) (2): assertion that an allegation is false

b: refusal to acknowledge a person or a thing : disavowal

The Good Doctor

This "evidence" was NOT admitted because it was NOT relevant. BTW, just because it's on the Internet does not make it true.

Kottage Kat

R. I. P. 2083

doggie mom

I hate to sound like an idiot but when does it become every persons right to control what happens to their body. I know in a perfect world everyone should be able to walk in the middle of the night to go get skittles and a tea but, it is not perfect. The ONLY person to have 100% stock in what happens to you is you and people need to be a little smarter about what and where they go and do. It sucks I am sure not to have that freedom but I would rather be safe then sorry. This I learned from experience.

goofus

Here's what George Zimmerman had been up to lately
http://www.ijreview.com/2013/07/...

getit right be4...

The monster known as Zimmerman has just cam out of hiding.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/george-...

This man must be stopped.

The Big Dogs Back

Whateva dis be jus a fake story. Dude prob had his boy flip a car and he "just happen" to be drivin by to rescue. I ain't gone believe it, its weak.

goofus

http://www.reagancoalition.com/a...
HMMMMM white boy shot point blank by blacks who dathunk!!!!!

bayshore

How about Justice for Antonio West - you remember him, the 13 month old shot in the face in his stroller by two black teens robbing his mother.
Oh, sorry, that doesn't count.

Centauri

Antonio West? The main stream news media hushed up that story also.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S...
Trayvon Martin vs Antonio West

Darwin's choice

Here's something for you to rally around.....
http://www.examiner.com/article/...

It's payday for George!

Cliff Cannon

" We are a nation of laws and a jury has spoken "

President Obama

No matter, what your opinion is on the Zimmerman trial. It is impossible to out logic, the logic of the Presidents statement, isn't it ? Further, I thank him for my better understanding of the challenges the black man faces, in his speech on his being black.

As to the whole of the Martin/Zimmerman clash. I did not follow the trial. So all I know for sure is a young man is tragically dead. While another young man's life is forever ruined. Which of course,as in all tragedy's dramatically affects the lives of who knows how many family members.

Being from Detroit, my complaint here, is in Rev. Sharpton's reaction to this case. Instead, of organizing rallies protesting the jury's decision. Rallies which of course, polarize people against one another. Shouldn't he be in Detroit---- where everyday 2 black people are murdered---attempting to help rebuild this city ?.

After all this burned out shell of a once great city is about 95% black. So wouldn't a real national leader be there telling every kid he could to get an education, to stay away from hard drugs, to dream of a career, work your tail off to make that dream happen, then dedicate yourself to making your city livable again ?.

Most of all, wouldn't a real leader stay away from the horrible affects of racial polarization ? For polarization is normally the politics of hatred and suspicion. Then hatred and suspicion grows nothing but more hatred and suspicion,doesn't it ?

So why isn't Rev. Sharpton in Detroit telling those beleaguered residents of that dying city that together there is little we can not accomplish when we work together. Why isn't he telling them the truth, that it will take faith, hope, courage, strength & trust to work together ? ( Wouldn't that be a better tribute to Trayvon Martin's memory ?)

Probably because there are no cameras on the man who urges peace & commitment. Certainly, there is little or no money in that course. Most of all, if mankind were to find 'common ground'& understand WE ALL love to be loved, need to be needed, want to be wanted,then we will build greatly when inspired.Wouldn't Rev. Sharpton be out a job ?

Tool Box

DOJ to clear Zimmerman after this... http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&mpi...

Mystery_Cheese

I notice the Register hasn't run any stories about Zimmerman's side. Like the fact that the judge wouldn't allow Trayvon's phone to be used as evidence, even though there were plenty of texts and photos that showed just how shady he was as well. I also noticed they haven't run the story about Zimmerman helping to rescue a family in an overturned SV about a week ago. I'm not a Zimmerman supporter, but at least be fair to both sides.

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