Local News

Hundreds rally in Triangle for justice in Florida teen's shooting death

Posted March 25, 2012
Updated March 26, 2012

— Rallies in the Triangle Monday called for justice in the case of an unarmed Florida teen whose shooting death has sparked national outrage. 

The rallies mark one month since Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, in Sanford, Fla. Local police's decision to not charge Zimmerman sparked national outcry and investigations by a local grand jury and the U.S. Justice Department.

The case has resonated locally as thousands of people participating in marches, rallies and protests this week to bring attention to Martin's death and call for justice.

The largest of Monday's rallies was at Pullen Park in Raleigh, where families marched holding signs and wearing hooded sweatshirts like the one Martin was reportedly wearing on the night he was killed.

"You need to stand up for your rights because this could have been you," said march organizer Jeannette Borne. "This could have been any young African American boy in America."

Borne and many others who participated Monday said they believe Martin's shooting was racially motivated.

Raleigh rallies for Trayvon Martin Raleigh rallies for Trayvon Martin

Bishop William Purvis, who attended a rally entitled "Am I suspicious?" organized by the Black Law Students Association at Grace AME Zion church in downtown Raleigh, said the death harkens back to the Civil Rights movement. 

"I think that there are still some people who don't live in today's society. I think that there are still some people who still live back in the 1960s and 50s," Purvis said. "I hope that this movement today will not just bring us together on one day, but I wish we could come together at all times. 

In Durham, Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP spoke to students at North Carolina Central University, who wore hoodies at a rally in front of the Turner Law Building.

"The reason there's such tension about it is because everywhere in this country, people can tell you stories, the same story, about the criminalization of our African-American men," Barber said at an already scheduled regional meeting of the NAACP in Raleigh this weekend.

Martin's death sparked hot discussion at the meeting.

"We live under the burden that when our young men leave the house, we have to tell them things like don't have anything in your hand. Don't break out and run," Barber said.

"We teach them that if they're stopped on a traffic stop, that you put your hands on the top of the wheel, so that you will not be shot on a country road," said Gloria Sweet-Love, southeastern caucus chair of the NAACP.

South Carolina NAACP Secretary Comilla Sampson said she has a son only a year apart in age from Martin.

"I constantly tell him that you're being looked at, you're being judged," Sampson said.

A rally was also held in Winston-Salem Monday.

A rally will also take place in Pittsboro at Mitchell Chapel AME Zion Church Wednesday evening.

Occupy Raleigh protesters held a candlelit vigil at the Old State Capitol Building at Sunday night to honor Martin.


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  • ghermie1 Apr 4, 2012

    VR, those are outrageous comments for several reasons: Martin wasn't a CHILD, he was a young adult. Also, he attacked Zimmerman, beating him up and telling Zimmerman he was going to die. Nobody marked Martin for murder. He was killed in self defense. Did the police report lie about the bloody face, bloody head, and grass stains on Zimmerman? Ignorance is out of control these days. Ever since the beginning of the story the media has been severly biased against Zimmerman (such as NBC's editing of the police tapes and illegal "acquisition" of the security footage). Martin is continuously depicted as a child even those he is 17 years old! From eyewitness accounts, it sounds like he attacked Zimmerman after Zimmerman followed him. Also, the police did not tell Zimmerman to quit following Martin. The 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman to quit following Martin. There are some facts to this case that you did not even consider before your trifecta of posts.

  • vrichardson90 Mar 28, 2012

    Now we know why Zimmerman hasn't been charged! He has family in high places. If Trayvon had family in high places maybe there would be justice for him. Like Zimmermon said. "They always get away" when you got money or family in the right place, even if you have a criminal history. Ain't that somrthing! A child die at the hand of a criminal simply because his family is part of the so-called justice system. Where is the justice in that!

  • vrichardson90 Mar 28, 2012

    hE SHOULD HAVE STOPPED? Tell me, have any of you heard of the people getting robbed at unpoint by fake Highway Patrol officers this week? Have you heard of people being beaten and raped because they stopped for strangers? Would you have stopped for a strange man acting crazy that you didn't know or would you have tried to get away as fasy as you can? We live in times whwn people are being murdered, sold into slavery, raped and worse things we can't even imagine. These things are happening right in our own neighborhood. People get missing everyday, never to be seen again or worse found dead. There are pyschotic people out there just waiying to snatch up unsuspecting men and women and you expect this young man to stop talk to this lunatic, at night? Are you for real? We live in a crazy society were you can't trust your own family and you expect him to talk to the neighhood wacko, really? You can't be serious!

  • vrichardson90 Mar 28, 2012

    It it really sad that our young men are marked for murder simply becauuse of the color of their skin. This man was in his own neighborhood, walking home and died because this ignorant man wanted to kill a black man. This is a national injustice that has gone on for centuries and has to be stopped. If it had been a white guy in a black or hispanic nrighborhood, he would have already been charged, beaten and locked up. Where is the justice for all when Zimmerman followed Trayvon after being told by the police not to. Racism is still prevalent in the justice system. How can Zimmerman even claim self defense when he disobeyed police orders and followed this child? If anything, it was premeditated because he followed him after the POLICE told him not to. His response "They always get away" says what his intentions were. He meaant to kill this CHILD! Anyone that believes otherwise is blind. I PRAY THAT YOU ARE NOT FACED WITH THE SAME SITUATION SOMEDAY!

  • randall0123a Mar 28, 2012

    What is the deal? It is terrible what happened to this young man in Florida, but the protesting mobs all the way in NC are going too far. So going forward, every time a person of one race kills a person of another race, the offended race is to form mobs all over the nation? That's the way to pull it together as a single nation people! At this pace of moving backwards, spearheaded by the NAACP, the race riots should be common place within 10 years. Rather than fixing the problem and coming together as unified Americans, I guess we all better pick sides and hyphenate our status to become segregated groups of *-Americans. What a sad thing.

  • not my real name Mar 28, 2012

    "This could have been any young African American boy in America."

    Actually it IS. UNARMED kids, women and men are killed everyday by those of their own race, among others. More so than just this one incident. Where is the outrage for their deaths? This entire event has gotten way out of control and needs to be put in check.

  • Lightfoot3 Mar 28, 2012

    "He has three closed arrests" - LambeauSouth

    That's interesting. Three arrests, and all dealing with violence. He was ranting mad at Martin walking in his neighborhood and didn't want him to "get away". He chased Martin. And some people want us to think that Zimmerman wasn't the instigator and provoker? Martin's mistake seems to have been walking while black.

    On another note, I saw a more recent picture of Zimmerman and wouldn't have recognized him from that other mug shot. Perhaps that's why no one has claimed the New Black Panther's bounty yet.

  • LambeauSouth Mar 28, 2012

    Now we know why George Zimmerman didn't get arrested....No Words.......According to court records George Zimmerman is the son of retired Supreme Court Magistrate Judge Robert J Zimmerman, his mother Gladys Zimmerman is a court clerk.... He has three closed arrests 7/18/05 for resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer div 10........8/9/05 for domestic violence div 44..... And again on 8/10/05 domestic violence div 46 ***

  • Lightfoot3 Mar 28, 2012

    "So guess anyone who describes a black person as being black is racist or is involved in racial profiling?" - Realthoughts

    The reason they say it's racial profiling is because Zimmerman likely targeted Martin because he was black and wearing a hoodie. Zimmerman was mad and angry at Martin the instant he say him. He claimed Martin was on drugs and up to no good. He called Martin the a-word. This is all on the 911 recording. Had it been a white guy walking without a hoodie, Zimmerman probably wouldn't have been as upset and angry, and determined not to let him get away. I'm not sure I'd call Zimmerman a racist, but I do think he profiled based on racial stereotypes.

  • Wisdom Mar 27, 2012

    Ok...so, how can anyone think that someone who chases down trouble, and deliberately shoots to kill the individual is considered 'self-defense'? Has anyone considered that Trayvon was fighting Zimmerman back in 'self-defense'? HE was the one being followed while minding his own business!!! Just because Trayvon fought back, and had the 'upper hand' on the one who provoked him, makes him the attacker in which Zimmerman in turn shoots to kill the young man and covers it up by calling it 'self-defense' because he has a gash on the back of the head and a busted lip? That's what he gets for taking his 'volunteer' position too serious as if he was an official officer. It could have been worse on his part, and been called, 'self-defense'!