After a trial further exposing America’s deep racial wounds ended, a jury acquitted George Zimmerman of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin Saturday evening.
The decision sparked immediate rage amongst Martin’s supporters, with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network organizing an impromptu rally in Union Square Sunday to demand justice for the slain teen.
“We saw last year when it took six weeks and tens of thousands of people in the streets, demonstrating, to where the powers that be thought things were gonna get out of hand, for them to even charge George Zimmerman in the first place” a Mass Incarceration Leader told the crowd.
“Let’s be clear. The only reason he was charged is because of massive outpourings of people, to try and get us to believe the system would somehow work for us. And we see the answer. We see this ‘not guilty’ verdict.”
Brooklyn Defense Attorney Collin More attacked the idea that Zimmerman went free because of poor showing from the prosecution.
“What kind of theory of a case would require a black man [going] into a store and purchasing Skittles and iced tea and he walks home and then is stalked by a little guy and killed?” he said. “What theory do you need?”
“My brothers and sisters, the theory is simple. He was stalked because he was black. And when George Zimmerman got out of that van, as he walked with his holstered gun, he knew that he was protected by this veil of innocence. And he knew that he could perpetrate any atrocity against a black youth.”
“I’m not really a protester; I was just sickened by the verdict and felt compelled to show up here and show my support for the mother of Trayvon Martin, because I am a mother,” another speaker said. “I just felt I had to be here, and my heart is breaking for Trayvon Martin’s family.”
As calls for a Department Of Justice Investigation against Zimmerman rise, many in the crowd shared that sentiment, including Daniel, organizer of the 1,000,000 Hoodies movement to honor Martin.
“I want you to go online and sign the NAACP petition to get the Justice Department to look into this issue, to charge Zimmerman with racial profiling” Daniel said.
“Now after you sign that petition, I want you to go to mhoodies.org and join the organization. We’re in this for the long haul. This is just the beginning. We can’t just talk about the problem anymore. We have to talk about solutions. The justice system is not protecting us.”
Watch video of the mock chalk outlines at the rally:
It wasn’t long before the crown began marching around the park, chanting Martin’s name. Throughout the day, an artist even took the time to draw crime scene chalk outlines marked, “We Are All Trayvon.” Others worried about what the verdict meant for their children.
“I have a three-year-old son,” said Bronx native Nicole Randall. “He has the same [skin] as Trayvon, he wears hoodies, he loves Skittles. It frightens me that one day I’m gonna have to tell him that he’s a second-class citizen and he’s looked [as] lower than an animal.”
Even though the trial may be over, it seems the fight to put Zimmerman away rages on.