Thursday, March 22, 2012

Union Square Park Rally For Slain Florida Teen Trayvon Martin

A huge rally was held in Union Square on Wednesday in honor of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen whose shooting death has stirred outrage among civil-right activists and some politicians.
(photo: Andrew Hinderaker for The Wall Street Journal)


Hundreds of people rallied in Manhattan’s Union Square on Wednesday evening in honor of the unarmed African-American teenager shot to death by a neighborhood-watch captain last month in Sanford, Fla, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The parents of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was killed in the Feb. 26 shooting, joined the demonstrators in a march from the park with chants of “we want arrests,” the Associated Press reported. Martin had just purchased candy at a convenience store and was wearing a hooded sweatshirt at the time of his death, so some protesters dressed in a similar fashion at Wednesday’s rally.

Andrew Hinderaker for The Wall Street Journal

The shooter, 28-year-old George Zimmerman, told police afterward that Martin attacked him and that he fired his weapon in self-defense. He has not been arrested or charged with any crime.

The case prompted federal and state authorities to open investigations earlier this week amid outrage from civil-rights activists and some politicians. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has also called for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to help with the state attorney’s investigation.

As the Journal reported earlier Wednesday, the incident has renewed debate over a controversial law that Zimmerman could rely on to defend his actions:

The Sanford police department didn’t respond to requests for comment, but the chief has previously said the department didn’t have evidence to dispute Mr. Zimmerman’s account of the events.

Legal analysts say that one reason for no arrest could be that Mr. Zimmerman had wide latitude to respond to a perceived threat under a 2005 Florida law. Dubbed “Stand Your Ground” by supporters and “Shoot First” by detractors, the statute eliminates the need for individuals to retreat in the face of an attack—as the law called for them to do previously, unless they were in their home—and allows them to respond with deadly force if they believe they are in danger.

According to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which supports gun control, roughly half of all U.S. states now have similar laws on the books.

Read more about the details of the shooting and Florida’s self-defense law in WSJ’s full report.

Read/View More

New Yorkers Rally for Florida Teen Killed in Shooting

Wall Street Journal - March 21, 2012 By Aron Rutkoff

Advocates In Union Square Demand Justice In Trayvon Martin Shooting

NY1 - March 21, 2012 - By Michael Herzenberg

Union Square Park 'Million Hoodie' march takes Union Square in protest of Trayvon Martin's fatal shooting
New York Daily News - March 21, 2012 By Edgar Sandoval and Helen Kennedy

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