Photo diary: Rally in Union Square in support of justice for Trayvon Martin

March 22, 2012

The murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a self-appointed neighborhood watchman in Sanford, FL (a suburb of Orlando), has touched a lot of Americans, including the couple of thousand New Yorkers who showed up in Union Square as part of the national Million Hoodie March demanding that the killer, George Zimmerman, be brought to justice. The speakers at the rally included Trayvon’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton (below). They spoke briefly and received a communal laying on of hands.

One of the other speakers enumerated some of the outrageous facts of the case — that the police who arrived at the scene ran a background check on the victim, not on the shooter, and ran a drug-and-alcohol test on the victim, not on the shooter. If the victim had been white and the shooter had been black, would the police have questioned the killer for an hour and then let him go home? That was one of a string of rhetorical questions the speaker posed to the crowd. Another, alluding to Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, was “What do you do when your employer won’t do his job?” Someone yelled out, “Execute him!” which caused the people around me to both gasp and chuckle in disbelief. The woman standing next to me and I exchanged bemused looks. “Wrong answer,” she said.

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