Thousands gathered at New York City’s Union Square to rally for 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the young man who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, FL.
Trayvon’s parents, Tracy and Sybrina spoke to the thousands of onlookers who have been showing their support for the slain teen.
Tracy Martin told the crowd:
“We’re not going to stop until we get justice. My son did not deserve to die.”
Demonstrators chanted “we want arrests” during the Million Hoodie March in Manhattan’s Union Square.
Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, told the crowd:
“My heart is in pain, but to see the support of all of you really makes a difference.”
The demonstrators responded: “God bless you!”
The case has ignited a furor against the police department of the Orlando suburb of 53,500 people, prompting rallies and a protest in Gov. Rick Scott’s office on Tuesday.
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said it is sending its community relations service this week to Sanford to “address tension in the community.”
Earlier in the week, the federal agency opened a civil rights probe into the shooting, and in Florida, Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger said a grand jury will meet April 10 to consider evidence in the case.
Tracy Martin said he and his son’s mother found out about the march after arriving in New York City, where they have done interviews about the case, including a sit-down interview with NBC’s Today Show.
The timing of the teen’s parents being in the city when the march was happening was “incredible,” said one of the organizers, Daniel Maree, who heard about the case earlier this week.
“I was outraged and wanted to do something about it,” Maree said.
In recent days, information surrounding the teen’s death has been coming out, including 911 calls and an account from his family’s lawyer of a conversation he had with his girlfriend in the moments before his death.
Asked how he was holding up after the last couple weeks, Tracy said:
“I don’t feel this is the time to break down, even though it’s a very troubling time in my life. I’ve told myself, when I get justice for Trayvon, then I’ll have my time to break down.”
Justice will come, it has to and we are behind the fight until the end.