Hundreds of Americans marched to rally at federal courthouses in Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities all over the country, demanding “justice for Trayvon” and urging to put an end to racial discriminations that they said was at the heart of the case.
New York saw one of the largest rallies on Saturday, in which participated more than 2,000 protesters, carrying “Boycott Florida” signs or wearing T-shirts with the teen’s picture and headed by an emotional Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother.
“Trayvon was a child,” she said. “I think sometimes it gets lost in the shuffle because as I sat in the courtroom, it made me think they were talking about another man. And it wasn’t. It was a child.”
Fulton burst into tears as members of the crowd shouted: “We love you!”
Moreover, the rally was attended by Jay Z and Beyonce, New York City mayoral candidate Christine Quinn and civil rights activist Al Sharpton.
Sharpton, who was among those who planned and organized Saturday’s demonstrations, led the protesters who were chanting “no justice, no peace” and “I am Trayvon Martin.” He later revealed to reporters that Jay Z and his famous wife didn’t want to speak at the rally but wanted to support Martin’s family.
Sharpton said he hopes that public pressure will make the U.S. Department of Justice bring federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.
Federal prosecutors earlier reported that they are investigating whether the suspect violated civil rights laws. But lawyers have said they think new charges are unlikely, Reuters reports.
At a rally in Miami, Martin’s father, Tracy, told supporters that after the acquittal he has “come to realize George Zimmerman wasn’t on trial – Trayvon was on trial.”
In Los Angeles, about 500 people gathered near the federal courthouse in Los Angeles, waving signs claiming “Open Season on the Black Man” and “This Should Not Be OK in 2013 America.”
In Chicago, some 500 people rallied across from the Everett McKinley Dirksen federal courthouse.
“We are standing up here today to say to our young people, ‘we value your lives,'” said Chicago Urban League Chief Executive Officer Andrea Zopp, who has a 17-year-old son. “The civil rights movement is not over.”
Rapper MC Lyte told the crowd: “When the verdict was read, I felt like we lost Trayvon Martin all over again.”
The news comes a day after President Barack Obama first expressed publicly his opinion regarding the delivered by the Florida jurors verdict.
“When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is, Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” Obama said during White House press briefing.
The U.S. president went on, adding that he understands why the nation is so disappointed with the last week’s verdict, However, he admitted that the jurors decision should be respected as the trial was conducted “in a professional manner”.