ATLANTA – Hundreds of people from across Georgia joined forces Monday evening to show their support for Trayvon Martin.
The protest, organized by student activists and civil liberties groups, took place on the streets in front of Georgia State Capitol. Many protestors carried bags of Skittles and wore hooded sweatshirts adorned with the “I am Trayvon” slogan, despite high temperatures.
Martin is the unarmed Florida teenager who was gunned down by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Police have come under intense criticism for their decision not to charge George Zimmerman, who claims he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense.
But tapes of 911 calls made after the shooting appear to conflict with his description of what happened. Martin, who was wearing a hoodie, had been talking on his cell phone and walking home from a local 7-Eleven in Sanford, Fla. carrying a bag of Skittles and iced tea.
The Justice Department and FBI now are investigating the killing, and a state grand jury is being convened to determine if charges should be brought.
President Obama has even weighed in on the death of Trayvon Martin. Speaking at a press conference, the president said, “My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin; you know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
The rally was also held to call attention to a law that some say has allowed Martin’s shooter to remain free. Georgia has its own version, known as the “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows people to use deadly force if they fear their life is in danger.
In Atlanta, the city has the highest concentration of historically black colleges in the country, including the prestigious Spelman and Morehouse colleges. Many of these young black students are angry Zimmerman still has not been arrested.
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All Photos by Jerome Dorn