Trayvon Martin case: More protests Friday in Florida

 Until admitted shooter George Zimmerman is led away in handcuffs, the parents of 17-year-old Trayvon Martinand the civil rights activists and others who have rallied for their cause say they won’t be satisfied.

“We cannot allow a precedent when a man can just kill one of us … and then walk out with the murder weapon,” said civil rights leader Al Sharpton, flanked by Martin’s parents and a stage full of supporters at a rally in Sanford on Thursday night. “We don’t want good enough. We want George Zimmerman in court with handcuffs behind his back.”

Police Chief Bill Lee said earlier in the day that he was stepping down temporarily to try to cool the building anger that his department did not arrest neighborhood watch volunteer Zimmerman, who has said he shot Martin on Feb. 26 in self-defense. Hours later, the governor announced that the local state attorney, Norman Wolfinger, had recused himself from the case.

Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, believe Zimmerman should have been arrested. They claim he was profiling their son and acted like a vigilante.

Tracy Martin told the thousands at the rally to keep his son in their minds.

“If Trayvon were here, he would have been here tonight,” he said. “He was a people person. Let’s get justice for your son.”

The signs, chants and sentiments all came down to a demand for justice in the case. Another rally was set for the state capitol Friday morning and students at Martin’s Miamihigh school planned to walk out in protest in the afternoon.

At Thursday’s protest, some people carried signs that said: “100 years of lynching, justifiable homicide. Same thing.” Others sold T-shirts that read: “Arrest Zimmerman.”

“It’s the norm around here, where anything involving black culture, they want to wipe their hands of it,” said Shella Moore, who is black and grew up in Sanford.

The Justice Department and FBI have opened a civil rights investigation, and the local prosecutor before he quit the case convened a grand jury April 10 to determine whether to charge Zimmerman.

Martin was returning from a trip to a convenience store when Zimmerman started following him, telling police dispatchers he looked suspicious. At some point, the two got into a fight and Zimmerman pulled out his gun.

 

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