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Thousands rally for slain black teen Trayvon Martin

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He was joined by Martin's parents, Martin Luther King III and nationally syndicated radio host Michael Baisden whose encouragement to his Twitter followers helped escalate attention on the shooting.

Trayvon Martin lived in Miami and was in Sanford visiting family Feb. 26 when he went to a convenience store. He was walking back carrying a bag of Skittles candy and can of iced tea, the hood of his jacket pulled over his head because it was raining. He was approached by the 28-year-old Zimmerman, who told a police dispatcher he thought Martin looked suspicious. Zimmerman shot Martin following a chase and fight.

Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense, and Sanford police officials say there is no evidence that contradicts that. Some neighbors in the gated community have praised Zimmerman for taking a stand against crime in the neighborhood that is 57 percent white and 30 percent black. Police say Zimmerman is white; his family says he's Hispanic.

Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, believe Zimmerman should have been arrested. They claim he was profiling their son and acted like a vigilante.

The rally was initially planned for a 400-seat church. But it was moved to downtown to make room for all the people who stood shoulder-to-shoulder in Fort Mellon Park, many holding signs with everything from "Justice For Trayvon" to "Chief is gone, Zimmerman is next."

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