A week after neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman was found not guilty of killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an estimated crowd of 450 gathered today for a rally in the courtyard of the Columbus Government Center.
Holding a bag of Arizona ice tea and Skittles, the items Trayvon had bought at the Sanford , Fla., convenience store before he was killed on Feb. 26, 2012, the president of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP told the crowd that he’s sick and tired of young African-Americans getting gunned down.
“Trayvon Martin is one of many African-Americans that has been gunned down in the name of their laws,” said Edward DuBose, who led the crowd in chanting, “I am Trayvon Martin.”
The rally at the Governement Center was one of similar gatherings held across the state. DuBose and other speakers focused on how young men can stay safe, people should oppose a version of “stand your ground” laws in 21 states across the nation and how the Bible warned of tough times facing the country.
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In a plea to the diverse crowd, DuBose called on all those gathered, especially young people, to sign a NAACP petition and give Attorney General Eric Holder the proof that Zimmerman needs to be held accountable in a shooting in which a jury of six women acquitted him.
Donna Groce who was at the rally with her 15-year-old son, Corey, agreed the law needs to be changed. “We shouldn’t be a wild west mentality,” she said.
Groce said the law need to be changed so that it is fair for everybody. “God made us all,” she said. “I’m not like you. You are not like me,” she said. “I don’t have your background and you don’t have mine. We all have got to go together in one direction.”
Corey said Trayvon didn’t deserve what happened to him last year. “It was not right,” said the rising 10th grader who is home schooled. “It was probably the worse thing I ever seen. It’s just not right to see people get killed because of some guy was walking down the street. That could have been me.”