Exactly one week after a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, demonstrators in more than 100 U.S. cities from Los Angeles to New York gathered outside federal courthouses Saturday to press the Justice Department to file civil rights charges against the former neighborhood watch leader and to call for changes to the nation’s gun laws.
The teen’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, attended and spoke at two of the rallies. Watch what they had to say below.
The Washington Post:
In cities around the country, demonstrators gathered in support of the unarmed black teen in the now-iconic hooded sweatshirt whose shooting death in Florida last year inflamed racial tensions and raised questions about whether young black men are viewed more suspiciously than their peers of other races or ethnicity.
...But for many of the protesters and speakers, they provided an opportunity to express their outrage that George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed Martin after a confrontation in February 2012, was found not guilty of a crime by a jury on July 13.
...There were no reports of violence Saturday as demonstrations were to take place in more than 100 cities, including some where the temperature topped 90 degrees. Thousands reportedly showed up to a rally in Miami. Many of the demonstrators were African American and carried signs that said “Black life matters” and “I am Trayvon Martin.”
In New York, Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, wore a shirt bearing her son’s face framed by a green hoodie. She pledged to keep up her activism on her son’s behalf despite the verdict of not guilty.