Parents of slain Florida teen to join Million Hoodies March

NEW YORK Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:40pm EDT

1 of 7. People hold up signs before an NAACP town hall meeting about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin as pictured at Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church in Sanford, Florida March 20, 2012. The case of unarmed 17-year-old black teenager Martin, shot dead by a white neighborhood watch captain, who police have failed to arrest will go before a grand jury, Florida prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Credit: Reuters/David Manning

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The father of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teen shot dead by a neighborhood watch captain in Florida, said on Wednesday he would join A Million Hoodies March in New York to demand justice for his slain son who "didn't deserve to die this evil way."

Tracy Martin said he and Trayvon's mother, Sybrina Fulton, would join the crowd but would not wear hooded sweatshirts like the one their 17-year-old son wore when he was killed last month in a gated community in Sanford, Florida, by watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

That is because they did not pack any for their trip to speak with talk show hosts about the shooting, Tracy Martin said.

The incident has drawn national attention and sparked debate over Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law since Zimmerman, 28, has claimed self-defense in the fatal shooting. The police have declined to arrest him.

"I think it is great that the people in New York have passion and that the people of New York are tired of people being stereotyped," Tracy Martin told Reuters.

"I'm just in awe that they are standing behind this cause 100 percent," said Martin, whose girlfriend's home is in the gated community where his son died after a trip to the store for candy.

Organizer Daniel Maree said the rally in Union Square Park, north of Greenwich Village, was intended to "put pressure on whoever it takes to charge George Zimmerman and prosecute him."

"Everyone who attends this rally is conscious of an epidemic in our society of young African-American people being targeted in our society," Maree said.

On February 26, Trayvon Martin was walking back to the gated community in Sanford when he was seen by Zimmerman. Zimmerman called Sanford Police to report a suspicious person in the neighborhood and then, while armed with a handgun, followed the teen despite the police dispatcher telling him not to.

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and the FBI said on Monday that they had opened an investigation into the shooting. A state grand jury was also being convened.

Police have turned the case over to prosecutors, citing Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, enacted in 2006 and now in effect in about 20 other states. The law provides a shooter with wide latitude to claim a killing was in self-defense.

More than 818,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org, a social action website, calling for Zimmerman's arrest.

In the hours before the rally, Tracy Martin recalled one of the last conversations he had with his son, a discussion about love.

"I told him just think about the letters that are in the word love," recalled Martin. "I told him L stands for love. O stands for over. The V stands for violence, and the E stands for evil. And I just said love over violence and evil. My son was a good kid and he didn't deserve to die this evil way."

(Additional reporting by Barbara Liston; Editing By Barbara Goldberg and Paul Thomasch)

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Comments (6)
bobthegunnner wrote:
what a stupid march!sorry for the young man,but every liberal and anti-gun person in this country will cry over this because they think they know better and things should always be their way!

Mar 21, 2012 5:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
digginestdogg wrote:
People get shot dead every day in muggings. Why no marches for them? They don’t deserve it either.

Mar 21, 2012 6:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
nevadasmith wrote:
I personally have nothing against Trayvon Martin,that being said I am completely frustrated with The Miami Regional FBI.I have tried since late October to get The Miami Regional FBI to take my Federal Civil Rights Discrimination Case.I begged them to at least make an Inquiry,but alas to no avail.Sadly,my main complaint was that local Police agencies in two counties were in violation of proper police procedure and protocols.Broward and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputies including The FDLE were just refusing to take my complaints in fact there was also criminal conduct by two Sheriff’s Deputies.I did send emails to:Gov.Rick Scott,Congr.Allen West,Sen Marc Rubio and The Fl St Attorney General,nothing.South Florida is not like The North of The United States,their “Right to Work” law has been misconstrued to mean “Right To Discriminate”–A NYC’er.At least I am alive–and ready to give States Evidence-I wish I had a “Guardian Angel” at Justice or The White House,but then again in my situation there is no Political Capital to be made,JUST JUSTICE. Notice The march for Trayvon Martin is in NYC,not down in The Super Deep South with all The FL “Grateful Brain Deads”

Mar 21, 2012 6:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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