Trayvon Martin: L.A. rallies voice outrage at shooting
Rallies were held at City Hall and at a South L.A. church to protest the slaying last month of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.
"I'm here because I want to fight racism," said Alejandra Cruz, 27, an attorney who lives in East Los Angeles and who attended the City Hall rally on Monday evening. The rally attracted hundreds.
She and the others marched from Pershing Square through downtown in a peaceful protest of the killing that has captured nationwide attention.
Others gathered at McCoy Memorial Baptist Church Los Angeles to discuss and pray about the case. L.A. Councilman Bernard Parks said that had the shooting occurred in Los Angeles there would have been a "massive investigation" immediately, according to KTLA News.
The rallies came the same day that hundreds of people joined leading civil rights advocates in Sanford to criticize authorities for failing to arrest Martin's shooter, George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain. Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self-defense after reporting him to police as a suspicious person and apparently confronting the African American teenager.
At L.A.'s City Hall, protesters said the failure of authorities to arrest Zimmerman is an example of a criminal justice system that has failed repeatedly to protect the rights of African Americans and Latinos.
South Los Angeles resident Pam Brown, 54, took part in the procession with her daughter and two grandchildren, one of whom held a sign that said "Fight for Justice."
"What happened wasn't right," Brown said.
Iña Martinez, 51, who traveled nearly 30 miles from Glendora to attend the event, said Martin's slaying was all about racism and injustice. "I want to see justice," she said.
— Robert J. Lopez and Shelby Grad