On July 21 “Justice for Trayvon” rallies were held around the country after a Florida jury acquitted former neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman of all charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
At the rally in New York City, civil rights activist Al Sharpton took spoke to the gathered crowd, taking aim at stand-your-ground self-defense laws like the one in Florida. “We are trying to change laws so that this never, ever happens again,” Sharpton said.
Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, also spoke at the New York rally. “Today it was my son. Tomorrow it might be yours,” she said. Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, added, “This could be any one of our children,” he said. “Our mission now is to make sure that this doesn’t happen to your child.”
Though they didn’t address the rally, Jay Z and Beyonce showed their support by standing by the family and Sharpton as they spoke.
In the days since the rally Jay Z has talked about the verdict, publicly questioning why Trayvon didn’t have a right to stand his ground.
“If you ask the questions, ask yourself the questions, ‘Didn’t Trayvon have the right to stand his ground? He was being chased. He fought back. He may have won. That doesn’t mean he’s a criminal. He won. If you chase me and you try to attack me and I defend myself, how can I be in the wrong? How is that right? This guy went to get Skittles and go back and watch the All-Star game. He had plans. He had no intentions of robbing anyone’s homes.”
Photos: Denise Korey