Rally held in downtown Miami for Trayvon Martin
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A local rally showed massive amounts of support for a South Florida teen shot and killed by a neighborhood watchman.
Thousands of people gathered at a rally in downtown Miami on Sunday to demand justice for Trayvon Martin, the teen shot and killed in February by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida.
The crowds began to show up at Bayfront Park around 1 p.m. to remember the 17-year-old. Among them; recording artist Chaka Kahn, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Trayvon Martin's parents. "We just want the public to know that he was a regular teenager, that he was respectable and he was loved by his family and his friends," said Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother.
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson hosted the event, introducing each speaker with the common message of fairness and a demand for the arrest of Zimmerman. "I would like to see an arrested immediately," said Wilson. "I think if we saw an arrest, we would see some movement towards justice because Trayvon was murdered. He was racially profiled, he was tracked down by a wanna-be vigilante, home-watch person, neighborhood watchman and shot."
"Stop the violence. Save the children. Stop the violence. Save the children. Arrest Zimmerman. Now. Process him. Now," said Jackson to the crowd.
The event was put on at the request of Fulton for some hometown support. Martin was from Miami Gardens. "It feels good to be home," said Tracy Martin, Trayvon's dad.
"This means the most to us," said Fulton. "A lot of people ask me how am I standing up when my child is shot and killed. The only thing that I can tell you is that it's God."
"I love the fact that I'm feeling really relaxed at a peaceful movement but it's something that has to be done, that has to be said, that has to have attention paid to it," said actress and Miami Gardens' native Jo Marie Payton.
People who played football and went to church and school with Martin also attended the rally and told stories about the teen. "Right now I know he's looking down on me saying how are you going to put Coach J up here to talk to all these thousands of people? He can't even talk to 35 kids without crying," said Jerome Horton, Trayvon's football coach.
Other attendees simply wanted to show support for what they call is an injustice. "I think African-Americans needs to know that there are white people that think this is horrible, an injustice, a tragedy and we want justice due," said Anne Deon, a rally attendee. "So I wanted to be here and make sure that some white people were here."
Those at the rally said they want to keep Trayvon Martin's story in the spotlight at least until Zimmerman is arrested. People also said they want to see a change in the Stand Your Ground law. "People need to keep on calling for justice until the man is arrested and tried," said Deon. "It's just horrible what happened and he got away with it and he's still walking around with a 9-mm gun that he used to kill a kid, a teenager."
As the rally wrapped up, Chaka Kahn performed a tribute song she wrote specifically for Trayvon Martin. "He's not some statistic, he's another awesome destiny denied," said Chaka Kahn. "So right or wrong, I'm going to live a super life."
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