'Justice for Trayvon' rallies draw thousands across USA

Aug 2012
311
41
North Texas
#1
Sorry, no riots, burning police cars and Korean stores, no dozens of body bags. I'm sure some Zimmerman supporters must be crushed with disappointment.

My main concern is the momentum these rallies might have on a move to severely change or, less likely, eliminate SYG laws.

'Justice for Trayvon' rallies draw thousands across USA
Thousands gathered Saturday at rallies in more than 100 cities nationwide to remember Trayvon Martin, to press for federal civil rights charges against the man who shot him, and to attack stand-your-ground self-defense laws.

George Zimmerman's acquittal a week ago on all charges in the shooting death of the unarmed black teen touched off protests across the nation. The Justice Department is investigating whether Zimmerman violated Martin's civil rights when he shot the 17-year-old during a February 2012 confrontation in Sanford, Fla.

In New York, the Rev. Al Sharpton took aim at stand-your-ground laws in more than a dozen states that generally give people wide latitude to use deadly force if they fear serious bodily harm. "We are trying to change laws so that this never, ever happens again," Sharpton, who organized the rallies through his National Action Network, told the crowd in New York.

Zimmerman's lawyers had considered the controversial stand-you-ground defense, but opted instead for a more traditional self-defense argument.

Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother, spoke at the New York rally. "Today it was my son. Tomorrow it might be yours," she warned the crowd. Trayvon's father, Tracy Martin echoed those sentiments at a rally in Miami.

The rallies drew the rich and famous, including Beyonce and Jay Z in New York. But mostly the crowds consisted of regular folks who felt justice was not served at Zimmerman's trial.

In Washington, D.C., hundreds of people braved searing heat, many carrying "Justice for Trayvon Martin" signs, almost all chanting "No justice, no peace." Hellen Smith, 45, brought her 14 year old daughter. The Maryland state human resources manager said she had mixed emotions about the verdict. She said jurors may not have had enough evidence to convict, but added that "We have to stand up for any person of any race who has been unjustly murdered."

Terri White, 60, a Baltimore psychotherapist said she was "disappointed in the system" after Zimmerman was acquitted. "I have two African Americans sons and grandsons and I want to see things change for them."

Washington resident Ralph Reynaud, 69, said the verdict shows that many people connect more easily with Zimmerman than with a black teen. "There was no justice," Reynaud said. "The letter if the law was executed, but the spirit of it was invalidated."

Most of the rallies and vigils were taking place outside federal court buildings. Sharpton said the vigils will be followed by a conference next week in Miami to develop a plan to address Florida's "stand your ground" law.

The rallies came a day after President Obama, speaking to reporters at an impromptu gathering in the White House briefing room, said that all Americans should respect the jury's acquittal of Zimmerman, but that white Americans should also understand that African Americans are pained by Trayvon's death and continue to face racial discrimination.

Obama told reporters that, like other African Americans, he has been followed by security guards while shopping, and has seen motorists lock their doors or women hold tighter to their purses as he walked near them. "Those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida."

"I think it's important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away," Obama said, and "it's going to be important for all of us to do some soul-searching."

The president also questioned the wisdom of Florida's "stand your ground" law and suggested people consider whether Trayvon also had the right to stand his ground, adding: "Do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman, who had followed him in a car, because he felt threatened?"

Obama also paid tribute to Trayvon's parents, saying that "I can only imagine what they're going through and it's remarkable how they've handled it."

In a statement, Trayvon's parents Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton said Friday, "We are deeply honored and moved that President Obama took the time to speak publicly and at length about our son, Trayvon. The President's comments give us great strength at this time."
 
Jul 2009
5,841
449
Port St. Lucie
#2
The lack of riots is good for more then the lack of chaos. I doubt any large scale, nationwide rioting would have remained motivated by the Zimmerman trial.
 
Aug 2012
311
41
North Texas
#5
Not yet. Anyone care to place bets it will come up on civil lawsuits?

Omara already stated he'd use it.

Any civil lawsuit vs. George Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin case may hit "stand your ground" obstacle - Orlando Sentinel
Moments after Zimmerman was found not guilty, defense attorney Mark O'Mara said, "If someone believes it's appropriate to sue George Zimmerman, then we will seek and we will get immunity in a civil hearing, and we will see just how many civil lawsuits will be spawned by this fiasco."

That was a reference to a "stand your ground" hearing, one not yet held in this case.

Although O'Mara said shortly after the shooting that Zimmerman would challenge his criminal prosecution under that statute, defense attorneys ran out of time and opted to simply take the case to a jury.

The statute, enacted in Florida in 2005, provides criminal and civil immunity to anyone who uses deadly force if he has a reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily injury.
 
Aug 2012
311
41
North Texas
#6
Like Ted Nugent said; the Zimmermans should sue the Martin family for mental anguish and to take responsibility for their child's irresponsible actions.
I hope they do. I'd love to see that play out in court. Especially a court which doesn't have the same rules of evidence or the "beyond reasonable doubt" bar of criminal court.
 
May 2012
207
36
The motherland
#8
The Trayvon Martin movement is clearly exploited by the likes of Al Sharpton but the Zimmerman trial at least gave African Americans some satisfaction. Zimmerman could have been convicted of second degree murder but the prosecutors did a poor job from the start. The selection of the jury almost made it certain that Zimmerman would be exonerated and Zimmerman's girlfriend's testimony was a boon to Zimmerman's defence team.
 
Oct 2012
3,998
655
Louisville, Ky
#9
All I am saying is that had George NOT taken action to save his own life, there is a high probability that Treyvon would have gone to prison for a pretty long while for his actions.

??????.....for walking home in the rain?

It seems clear his life was not in danger until he created a situation that might have endangered it.
 
Oct 2012
3,998
655
Louisville, Ky
#10
For an unprovoked assault on George for doing nothing illegal.
There is nothing to indicate, one way or another which individual instigated the death of Treyvon Martin (other than testimony from the man who killed him). This testimony must be considered biased due to the source. That you have assumed the position that the dead man is guilty points to your being biased as well, as any logical mind must consider the possibilities without pre assumption.
It may very well be Trayvon assaulted Zimmerman, and caused his own death by doing so...I do not know, and neither do you. I instead must review the available data and form my opinion.

1) Trayvon was unarmed and walking home in the rain, wearing clothing that might be suggestive of hiding his features (possibly indicative of subterfuge).

2) Zimmerman thought he was considering criminal activity, and followed him as a neighborhood watch volunteer.

3) At some point (which is unclear due to confused reports from witnesses and the accused), there was an altercation that led to the victim being shot and dying.


The jury decided Zimmerman was justified in this killing, and I accept it.
 
Aug 2012
311
41
North Texas
#11
All I am saying is that had George NOT taken action to save his own life, there is a high probability that Treyvon would have gone to prison for a pretty long while for his actions.
What if Martin testified he was simply defending himself against an armed child molester who attacked him in the dark?
 
Aug 2013
76
6
Oklahoma
#12
Why stand your ground continues to be mentioned whenever the Zimmerman trial is discussed is bizarre. The defence did not argue their case on the merits of SYG. Concerning the racism angle, the prosecution team themselves stated clearly in their closing arguments that race had NOTHING to do with it. Also Barack Obama is half black and half white and he's a black man, therefore Zimmerman being half white and half Hispanic is Hispanic. So Sharpton needs a plug in it.