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Miami, FL - Thousands Gather At Miami Rally For Trayvon Martin

Published on: April 1, 2012 09:31 PM
By: AP
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Supporters cheer at a rally to call attention to the recent death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, in Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, Florida, USA, 01 April 2012 People across the United States are calling for an investigation into Martin's death, after he was allegedly killed by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman.  EPA/ROBERT SULLIVANSupporters cheer at a rally to call attention to the recent death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, in Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, Florida, USA, 01 April 2012 People across the United States are calling for an investigation into Martin's death, after he was allegedly killed by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman.  EPA/ROBERT SULLIVAN

Miami, FL - Political leaders, sport stars and entertainers were among several thousand people who gathered Sunday at a Miami rally to call for an arrest in the fatal shooting of an unarmed Florida teenager by a neighborhood watch volunteer.

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The rally in 17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s hometown was one of the largest yet and drew basketball stars Alonzo Mourning and Isaiah Thomas, singers Chaka Khan and Betty Wright, politicians and civil rights leaders.

Martin’s father, speaking briefly, promised the crowd he would not stop fighting “for my Trayvon and for your Trayvon.”

“Each and every one of us feels the pain of this family simply because Trayvon Martin could have been one of all of us,” said Mourning, the former Miami Heat player.

The rally came a day after thousands marched through Sanford, the central Florida town where 28-year-old George Zimmerman shot and killed Martin in February. Martin was walking back from a convenience store, where he had gone to buy candy and iced tea, when he and Zimmerman got into an altercation. Zimmerman says he was attacked and has claimed self-defense; Martin’s family disputes his version of events.

They point to 911 calls, a surveillance video of Zimmerman from shortly after the fatal shooting, and other records that they say prove Martin was not the aggressor. Zimmerman has not been arrested, though state and federal authorities are investigating.

The case has led to protests across the nation and spurred a debate about race and the laws of self-defense. Martin was black; Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is Hispanic.

 A vendor sells t-shirts outside a rally to call attention to the recent death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, in Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, Florida, USA, 01 April 2012.  People across the United States are calling for an investigation into Martin's death, after he was allegedly killed by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman.  EPA/ROBERT SULLIVAN A vendor sells t-shirts outside a rally to call attention to the recent death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, in Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, Florida, USA, 01 April 2012.  People across the United States are calling for an investigation into Martin's death, after he was allegedly killed by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman.  EPA/ROBERT SULLIVAN

Speaking at the rally Sunday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said the case was about ending all types of racial profiling — not just in criminal cases, but by banks, insurance companies and in the job market.

“End profiling now,” the civil rights activist said to applause.

Jackson also said Martin’s case illustrated the high number of black students who are suspended from school. A report issued by the U.S. Department of Education last month found that black students are more than three times as likely as their white peers to be suspended or expelled. Martin had been suspended from school for having a baggie that contained marijuana residue shortly before he was killed.

“We must stop suspending our children,” Jackson said, asking the crowd to repeat: “Invest in them. Educate them.”

Many of the people who gathered at the bayside park on a sunny afternoon wore T-shirts with Martin’s image and the words “Justice for Trayvon.” Others wore buttons that said, “Do I look suspicious?” One man had a Mohawk with an image of Trayvon Martin painted on one side. A marching band from a high school that the teen attended danced, sang and beat drums.

Numerous supporters came dressed in hooded sweat shirts like the one Martin was wearing when he died.

Among them: Mourning’s 15-year-old son, Trey.

“It could have been me,” Trey Mourning told the crowd.

Grammy winner Chaka Khan said Martin’s death had affected her. “The message I bring to you today is fear kills and love heals,” she said.

Martin’s death occurred more than a month ago, but absent an arrest, his family and others vowed to continue holding protests. Rep. Frederica Wilson organized the rally in Miami, and an attorney for Martin’s parents said demonstrations are being planned for in the coming weeks in cities including Los Angeles and Chicago.

The Rev. Al Sharpton led the crowd in circulating buckets to collect contributions that he said would help pay for the Martins’ legal fees and travel.

“This is not a fit,” Sharpton said. “This is a movement.”


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Read Comments (12)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 01, 2012 at 09:52 PM R Says:

Police who conducted the investigation say Zimmerman is right. All this is just racist media incitement by the liberal media. Sickening what this country has turned into. A politically correct anti-white anti-conservative country.

2

 Apr 01, 2012 at 10:10 PM yaakov doe Says:

Somehow I'm missing the point of the rally. I assume the criminal justice sytem in Florida is capable of handling the incident. Until the facts are known everyone should remain quiet.

3

 Apr 02, 2012 at 09:01 AM Toscannini Says:

Something does not smell right the way this case was handled, from the beginning. The lead detective investigator wanted an immediate arrest of Zimmerman, as he did not feel that his story was credible. For some unexplained reason, he was overruled by the local state's (district) attorney. Also, even though the cops had the identity of the deceased in their possession, they failed to notify the next of kin for three days. The Sanford Police and the local prosecuting attorney's office have lost the public's trust. Hence, the case was turned over to a special Florida prosecutor; in addition, the U.S. Justice Department is also investigating. Zimmerman appears to have been a Rambo/John Wayne type, who was looking for a confrontation. Expert witnesses have stated that the person heard screaming on th 911 tapes is the deceased person. It appears that he will shortly be arrested and indicted for either manslaughter or second degree murder.

4

 Apr 02, 2012 at 09:03 AM concerned_Jew Says:

Reply to #2  
yaakov doe Says:

Somehow I'm missing the point of the rally. I assume the criminal justice sytem in Florida is capable of handling the incident. Until the facts are known everyone should remain quiet.

I totally agree. This rioting is absolutely not appropriate and is not going to help anything. Let the truth come out and let people accept it for what it is as unfortunate as this incident was. I don't think it was racist at all. I think the guard was threatened and was trying to defend himself. The kid should have cooperated and not been afraid of the guard (if that is true that he was afraid).

5

 Apr 02, 2012 at 09:57 AM Enough Already Says:

This Martin-Zimmerman situation is a home run for Al Sharpton. He feeds off of racial discord. If he were sincere it would be one thing , but his main objective is to get his face in front of the cameras, and the media just plays into his hands. Al is in it for Al ...bottomline.
If this race hustler really cared for black youth he would do any and everything to help with the never ending cycle of black on black violence which is an almost daily occurence in urban America.
My thought is that the Obama re-election people are behind all of the demonstrations, as an attempt to draw attention away from far more serious issues that plague America. Just where is the $$$ coming from to fund all of the signs and other things that go into making these protests happen???. The President already stuck his nose into something that is a local issue...he is shameless!

6

 Apr 02, 2012 at 10:21 AM Voice-of-Reason Says:

Reply to #4  
concerned_Jew Says:

I totally agree. This rioting is absolutely not appropriate and is not going to help anything. Let the truth come out and let people accept it for what it is as unfortunate as this incident was. I don't think it was racist at all. I think the guard was threatened and was trying to defend himself. The kid should have cooperated and not been afraid of the guard (if that is true that he was afraid).

This was not a riot. It was a peaceful gathering. I agree that the facts need to come out. I just have lost trust in the authorities. A lot of protectsia goes on these days.

7

 Apr 02, 2012 at 11:09 AM PMOinFL Says:

Reply to #1  
R Says:

Police who conducted the investigation say Zimmerman is right. All this is just racist media incitement by the liberal media. Sickening what this country has turned into. A politically correct anti-white anti-conservative country.

Wow... life must so hard in your world of delusions and lies. Anyone paying attention to the NEWS reporting (not the race-baiting entertainment media liike Limbaugh, Sharpton, Schultz, Hannity, etc.) knows that you are a liar.

The POLICE lead investigator wanted to charge Zimmerman with Manslaughter. It was the prosecutor who said no, and halted the "investigation" which lasted all of 36 hours and did not include ANY forensic testing. Conveniently (for Zimmerman), all of the evidence collected from Zimmerman has been "lost", including his clothing, photos that were taken, and the blood evidence. His gun was also returned to him which he has since thoroughly cleaned to remove any evidence.

If you think that demanding nothing more than a REAL investigation is "racist" and "politically correct", you don't even understand your own rights under the law.

As a side note, BOTH of the Conservative, NRA-member, Republican lawmakers who wrote/sponsored the "stand your ground" law have stated that it was wrongly applied here, and that once Zimmerman picked up his gun and pursued Martin he was now the agressor and not the defender.

8

 Apr 02, 2012 at 11:28 AM Phineas Says:

Reply to #4  
concerned_Jew Says:

I totally agree. This rioting is absolutely not appropriate and is not going to help anything. Let the truth come out and let people accept it for what it is as unfortunate as this incident was. I don't think it was racist at all. I think the guard was threatened and was trying to defend himself. The kid should have cooperated and not been afraid of the guard (if that is true that he was afraid).

Never said anything about it being a riot.

9

 Apr 02, 2012 at 11:54 AM Benny Says:

Why don't you put on your shirt "if I had a son - he'd look like OJ Simpson (who killed a white male in the cold blood)
or like Trevor Crockom (who shot and killed NJ policeman)?

If Zimmerman is guilty and he attacked the kid - let him be tried and punished,
but if he is not - don't just punish anyone who defended himself, only because the attacker was black!
because next time if someone is being mugged - he has to see - if the attacker is white - shoot him, but if the attacker is black - than you just have to do what????????

10

 Apr 02, 2012 at 12:14 PM Reb Yid Says:

No one in the rally is wearing a hoodie! And here I thought it was all about the hoodies...now I'm going to have to sell my stock in the hoodie manufacturing companies.

11

 Apr 02, 2012 at 04:15 PM PMOinFL Says:

Reply to #9  
Benny Says:

Why don't you put on your shirt "if I had a son - he'd look like OJ Simpson (who killed a white male in the cold blood)
or like Trevor Crockom (who shot and killed NJ policeman)?

If Zimmerman is guilty and he attacked the kid - let him be tried and punished,
but if he is not - don't just punish anyone who defended himself, only because the attacker was black!
because next time if someone is being mugged - he has to see - if the attacker is white - shoot him, but if the attacker is black - than you just have to do what????????

Why do people like you keep twisting this?

The only thing anyone has asked for is a FORMAL investigation. Zimmerman should have been arrested, and released on bail (even if it were small bail) pending an investigation. Instead they handed him his gun back (which he took home and scrubbed clean of all evidence) and then the police "lost" ALL of the evidence on Zimmerman including his clothes, and blood samples.

There is no physical evidence that Zimmerman was defending himself. That's it. The "eyewitness" only saw 2-3 seconds of them struggling on the ground.

The coroner has already stated (and will testify) that Martin had no abrasions or blood on his hands indicating he had ever attacked Zimmerman. The video footage from the police station shows no evidence of any cuts on Zimmerman's head or a bloodied nose.

We know that Zimmerman had no authority under the neighborhood watch to carry a gun while working, nor any authority to pursue Martin.

Zimmerman never claims Martin is doing anything wrong.

All the evidence shows it was Martin who was the agressor. We, the people of FL demand a PROPER police investigation. That's it. If that's what you call racism, you're a fool.

12

 Apr 02, 2012 at 08:39 PM SherryTheNoahide Says:

Reply to #4  
concerned_Jew Says:

I totally agree. This rioting is absolutely not appropriate and is not going to help anything. Let the truth come out and let people accept it for what it is as unfortunate as this incident was. I don't think it was racist at all. I think the guard was threatened and was trying to defend himself. The kid should have cooperated and not been afraid of the guard (if that is true that he was afraid).

Rioting?? It was a peaceful protest! Not an incedent!

Why is it called a "riot" when it's a large group of black folks gethering together?!?!

13

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