Trayvon Martin hoodie and Skittles rallies spread across nation
From Atlanta to Seattle, rallies were held this weekend calling for justice in the Trayvon Martin case. More Trayvon Martin rallies are planned for today.
(AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Greg Gilbert)
In Phoenix, Atlanta, Oklahoma City, Seattle, and Nashville, hundreds of people turned out for rallies and marches this weekend. Many were dressed in hoodies, the same garb worn by 17-year-old Trayvon Martin when he was shot by a Florida neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman on Feb. 26.
More rallies, prayer vigils, and hoodie protests are planned this week.
About 500 people turned out for a rally and march Sunday afternoon in downtown Phoenix to honor the unarmed black Florida teenager that police say was fatally shot by the neighborhood-watch volunteer.
"This is not about Black or White or red, green or yellow. This is about a young man on his way back to meet with his family. ... That young man paid a dear price with his life," the Rev. Oscar Tillman told the crowd, according to The Arizona Republic.
In Birmingham, Alabama, more than 400 people attended a ceremony held in a downtown park Sunday night for Trayvon Martin. They gathered at a statue of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Mayor William Bell was among those attending the vigil in Birmingham. He says justice hasn't been done in the case.
A similar vigil was held at the civil rights memorial in Montgomery, Ala., where many demonstrators wore hoodies and carried iced teas. That's what authorities say Martin was doing when he was fatally wounded while visiting family in Sanford, Fla.
In Oklahoma City, dozens of Oklahomans wearing hooded sweatshirts and holding bags of Skittles joined a chorus of protests against the killing of an unarmed black teenager in Florida.
Demonstrators held signs, chanted slogans like, "No justice, no peace" and called for action Sunday in the death of Trayvon Martin.
Police say Sanford, Fla., neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot the 17-year-old Feb. 26 as he was returning from a convenience store with a bag of Skittles and some tea.
Officers say Zimmerman told them he shot the teen in self-defense and no arrests have been made. Federal investigators are trying to determine if Zimmerman shot Trayvon because he was black.
Protest organizer Ashley McMillan says she has a son who is biracial and can't imagine him being killed because he is black.
The shooting has spurred protest rallies across the nation, with at least three others planned in Tennessee. The Commercial Appeal reports Memphis activists plan two events this week to protest the boy's death and WDEF-TV reports a march is planned in Chattanooga.
In New York, State Sen. Eric Adams plans to join African American senators in wearing hoodies to State Senate legislative session Monday afternoon to dramatize shooting of Trayvon Martin.
In Detroit, coalition of civil rights, labor, clergy and community leaders plan to hold a "Justice & Peace Rally." Monday evening at 7 p.m. In Los Angeles, City Councilman Bernard Parks and members of the Baptist Minister Conference plan to hold a news conference and lead a public prayer for the Trayvon Martin task force on Monday morning.
In Atlanta, civil rights groups, students and public officials are planning to rally Monday at the steps of the Georgia statehouse. Organizers are encouraging participants to wear a hoodie like the one Martin was wearing when he was killed.
Meanwhile, a man identified as a friend of the Florida neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman said Monday that Zimmerman would tell the teen's parents he's "very, very sorry" if he could.
"This is a guy who thought he was doing the right thing at the time and it's turned out horribly wrong," Oliver said.
"I learned that he couldn't stop crying for days after the shooting," Oliver said.
Both Oliver and Craig Sooner, an attorney speaking for Zimmerman, said there is other evidence that hasn't come out that shows Zimmerman was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February.
The shooting in a gated community near Orlando has sparked widespread outrage, with many calling for Zimmerman's arrest.
Martin was returning to his father's fiancee's home from a convenience store when Zimmerman, 28, started following him, telling police dispatchers he looked suspicious. At some point, the two got into a fight and Zimmerman pulled out his gun.
Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is Hispanic.