Justice for Trayvon rally held in Downtown Jacksonville
Hundreds show support, hope for changes in laws
It's been one week since a jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. In the wake of that decision, thousands of people across the country and gathering to rally for National Justice for Trayvon Day.
The goal of the rallies is to urge the Justice Department to investigate filing federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman.
Justice for Trayvon, that was the message hundreds wanted to share as they marched through downtown Jacksonville. They hope their large, yet peaceful show of solidarity will result in federal action against George Zimmerman.
"It shouldn't take a Trayvon Martin case for us to get together and work in solidarity," Anthony Heard said. "I'm happy and excited to be here and have this opportunity to let the world know that t Jacksonville is a part of the movement that we are with them full swing."
This rally in Jacksonville is just one of nearly 100 vigils being held in cities across the country. Although its just a small part of an overall movement, Nettie Cummings says its something she and her family are happy to be a part of.
"Trayvon was just not her son he was our son too and so I just believe in equal justice and I want Trayvon to stand for more than just what the jury said that he was," she said.
"I think it is a stand for something that we believe is right and I think it's good for the community to come together," Steve Cummings said.
Hundreds here of all ages sang songs held signs for not only Trayvon but Jordan Davis and other young people affected by violence.
The crowd marched from City Hall to the State Attorney's Office, a message to Angela Corey. Then they marched to the Duval County jail to show their support for Marissa Alexander -- a woman sentenced to prison when her Stand Your Ground defense was denied.
Marchers hoped their voices would encourage Alexander who is serving a 20-year sentence after firing a warning shot at the wall of her home to scare off her admittedly abusive husband.
"It just seems like it's open season with guns and killing and I think we need to be aware and bring some awareness to this and try to bring some fair was to it," Ishmael Mulhammad said.
The rain didn’t stop more than 100 people from holding a vigil in Tallahassee at the U.S. Courthouse on Saturday. Trayvon’s father participated at a Miami vigil Saturday afternoon.
All were part 100 vigils planned across the country on Saturday and precursors to a march in Washington, D.C. in August -- a day many participants hope will prompt lawmakers to reconsider change.
Anedra Johnson said the Zimmerman verdict has been a catalyst.
”For this generation, absolutely this was the tipping point," Johnson said. "To be completely honest, maybe it was completely necessary to bring us back together and refocus on things and look at our community.”
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