Rally planned to demand justice for slain Florida teen
A rally and prayer gathering were planned for Sunday in Los Angeles to show support and demand justice for Trayvon Martin, the black Florida teen whose shooting death last month by a neighborhood watch volunteer has galvanized the nation.
The rally was scheduled to kick off with a march starting at 2 p.m. at Crenshaw and Exposition boulevards and featuring such organizations as Occupy the Hood Los Angeles, Palisadians for Peace, and the Los Angeles Workers’ Center. Marchers were then expected to gather at Leimert Park to hear comments from community activists.
“This is a grassroots community activity in support of the family of Trayvon Martin ... and to demand the immediate arrest and prosecution of George Zimmerman,” said Jubilee Shine, a member of Los Angeles Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant, an African American Oakland man who was fatally shot by a transit police officer in 2009. “The developments so far ... and the Justice Department investigation are insufficient.”
Zimmerman shot Martin dead on Feb. 26 in his hometown of Sanford, Fla., as the 17-year-old teen walked home from buying Skittles and ice tea. Zimmerman claimed self-defense under Florida’s "stand your ground" law and has not been arrested.
The U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation, but Shine said he and other activists lacked confidence that the agency’s probe would yield satisfactory results.
Other community members planned to show their support for Martin’s family through prayer.
Bishop Craig Worsham of Trinity Church at 11847 S. Vermont Ave. said a “Hoodies for Justice” meeting would be incorporated into the church’s usual 7:30 p.m. prayer service.
In addition to praying for Martin’s family, Worsham said church leaders wanted to bring awareness to the community and encourage them to get involved in the public policy process.
Martin’s death has sparked protests across the country and prompted President Obama on Friday to call for a thorough investigation.
Photo: Trayvon Martin at age 14. Credit: Courtesy of Martin Family via Miami Herald/MCT.