Miami Students, Church Members Head To Trayvon Rally
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Dozens of rallies are planned across the state to mark the one month anniversary of the death of 17-year old Trayvon Martin.
Martin was gunned down February 26th while walking a gated Sanford community by self-appointed Neighborhood Watch captain George Zimmerman who claimed he shot the teen in self-defense. Martin was unarmed when he died; he was wearing a hoodie and carrying a bag of Skittles and can of iced tea. Investigators said Zimmerman thought he looked suspicious.
Citing the “Stand Your Ground” law, police did charge Zimmerman in the shooting which sparked outrage and cries for justice across the nation.
The largest rally will be held in Sanford at 4 p.m. Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, activists including Al Shapton and Jesse Jackson, will join thousands of people in march to demand justice.
At the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens, where Martin and his mother were members of the congregation, hundreds gathered early in the morning hours to board buses or cars which would take them to the Sanford rally.
“The elders are now going to have to realize that this leg of this movement for Trayvon may be the energy of the young people but it needs our guidance, our funding and our support so that the energy tied to it results in something positive,” said pastor Vincent Lewis.
Some of the church’s younger members said the senseless death of Trayvon is a lesson they never wanted to learn.
“It’s a devastating situation, it really touches you in a way that it doesn’t touch other people, you really feel the pain,” said 16-year old Blake Cole.
At Florida Memorial University, a similar scenario was played out. Hundreds of students readied to leave early Monday so they could be in Sanford in time for the rally.
“This is my first rally ever in regards to something like this,” said Julian Coakley, “It could have been either one of them.”
Thousands of people from across the state are expected to take part in this Sanford march to demand that charges be filed against Zimmerman.
A grand jury will be convened April 10 to consider whether to bring state charges, which could include second-degree murder or manslaughter. The Justice Department’s civil rights division and the FBI have also launched their own investigation into the shooting.