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."