Florida teenager's home town turns out in Miami protest

MIAMI Sun Apr 1, 2012 7:42pm EDT

1 of 25. Family attorney Benjamin Crump comforts Sabryna Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, as she speaks to reporters before demonstrators protest the shooting of her son in Miami, Florida April 1, 2012. Attorneys for the family of slain black teenager Trayvon Martin are asking the U.S. Justice Department to review reports that prosecutors undermined a police investigation of shooter George Zimmerman by overruling a detective who wanted to charge him.

Credit: Reuters/Ed Linsmier

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MIAMI (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters gathered in a downtown bayfront park on Sunday demanding the arrest of the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in central Florida a month ago.

Civil rights leaders were joined by Martin's parents who were making their first major public appearance in the family's home city since a news conference on the steps of the Baptist Church where the funeral for their son was held last month.

Sunday's protest came a day after one of the largest demonstrations yet in Sanford, the central Florida town where Martin was killed.

The crowd gathered in an amphitheater with a "Justice for Trayvon" poster behind the stage.

Protesters called for the arrest of George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Martin with a semiautomatic handgun. Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, was in his car about to drive to a store when he noticed Martin walking back to his father's fiancée's home after buying candy and iced tea on Oscar night, February 26.

Zimmerman called 911 to report that Martin looked "suspicious" and followed him against the dispatcher's advice.

He later told police that he was walking back to his vehicle when Martin attacked him and that he fired his weapon in self defense after he was punched in the nose, knocked down and had his head slammed against a sidewalk.

Police refused to arrest Zimmerman citing Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows the use of lethal force outside the home when a reasonable threat is perceived.

The case has sparked a public outcry from celebrities, politicians, civil rights activists and ordinary citizens who believe Zimmerman had judged Martin to be suspicious simply on the color of his skin and should have been arrested for the shooting.

More than two million people have signed a petition on Change.Org to demand justice in the case. President Barack Obama weighed into the matter in personal terms, comparing Martin to a son he might have had and calling for "soul searching" over how the incident occurred.

A special state prosecutor is examining the case and could decide as soon as this week whether charges should be filed. Federal investigators are looking into charges of racial bias.

Martin was visiting Sanford while serving a 10-day suspension from Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in north Miami. His parents are divorced but both still live in Miami where his mother is a county housing agency employee and his father is a truck driver.

Martin's former classmates have held several smaller protests, including a school walkout by more than 1,000 students last month. Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, later urged students not to protest with walkouts, but to sign petitions, take part in organized rallies and pray.

Martin was reportedly a good student and was taking after-school classes in the hopes of becoming an aviation mechanic.

Betty Wright, a Grammy Award winning R&B artist and Miami native was scheduled to sing at Sunday's rally in support of the Martin family. "It is something where we need to stop and realize that this is like 2012 and it's unacceptable," she told NBC.

Wright, whose has an album due to be released on Wednesday, will be singing "Dry Well," a song written to honor her own 21-year-old son, Patrick Parker, who was fatally shot in 2005. His killer was also never arrested.

"And if I can lend a celebrity voice to it, because when my son died, the way I got through it was through the power of family and the power of prayer," Wright told NBC. "And I began to write it out, as I have always done the pain in my life."

(Reporting By David Adams; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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Comments (27)
wgalison wrote:
Unlike the Trayvon case, the facts and evidence of the police cover-up of a murder in this case are crystal clear, and unlike the Trayvon case, this case has received NO coverage from the national or local press.

Sunny Sheu, was a mortgage fraud victim who discovered that a NY Supreme Court Judge was complicit in the theft of his house. Sunny was kidnapped by the NYPD and threatened with death if he went to the press.


He went to WABC news in New York and to the FBI requesting witness protection. He also made a Youtube video predicting his death


On July 26th, 2010, Sunny was found bludgeoned to death in an alley on July 26th 2010

Hours after his death, the NYPD removed Sunny’s body from the hospital, and sent it to the Medical Examiner for immediate cremation, with a note saying he died of an aneurism “with no criminality”.

The M.E. disagreed, ruling that the cause of death “blunt force trauma to the head with skull fractures and brain injuries” and calling for an investigation.

Sunny’s body was authorized for cremated by a fraudulent executor with no relation to Mr Sheu, his family or friends.

Two years since his death, there has been no investigation.

The entire case is documented at www.sunnysheu.blogspot.com.”

Apr 01, 2012 2:07am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jrwondra wrote:
“Chris would have made a recommendation for manslaughter but Norm Wolfinger’s office wanted it to be a slam dunk,” the source said.

Would have?
A “recommendation?”

This “law enforcement source” recognizes what the MSM and most of the race-baiters do not: the police do not “bring charges.” the final decision is up to the prosecutior for misdemeanors, and the grand jury for felonies.

Here, the prosecutor exercised his discretion in light of the evidence then available.

Now, the MSM, race-baiters, activists and others are decrying this as “interference,” and demanding that a federal agency with no jurisdiction over the individuals heed the mob mentality and ignore due process, the constitution and Stae laws.

The shooter cannot be charges with a violation of civil rights, as he is a private citizen. The State prosecutor was within his discretion to make the decision he did, and we do not even know whether he took the individuals’ nationalities or race into consideration!

This is nothing more than an effort to further divide our people and to generate race-driven allegations, fears and hate-mongering.

If there was ever an example of “selective enforcement” and “racial profiling” it is on the part of those who’ve chosen to ignore the facts, the law and chosen to let emotion and hate fuel their biased calls for their own brand of “justice.”


Apr 01, 2012 10:05am EDT  --  Report as abuse
reutersnv wrote:
BALANCE. Everyone is focused on whether Zimmerman shows signs of bleeding or cuts in the video. BALANCE. Watch the way he walks, with except balance and confidence, not at all like a person whose head has just been slammed into the hard ground a few times. Try it on yourself and you’ll see…you won’t walk like Zimmerman does in the video. I wish people would start paying attention to this useful piece of evidence.

Apr 01, 2012 12:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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