New Yorkers rally following George Zimmerman verdict in Union Square

theGRIO REPORT - Following the reading of the George Zimmerman verdict on Saturday night, Trayvon Martin supporters in New York City took to the streets, many gathering in Union Square and Times Square...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Following the reading of the George Zimmerman verdict on Saturday night, Trayvon Martin supporters in New York City took to the streets Sunday, many gathering in Union Square and Times Square.

Zimmerman was on trial for the second-degree murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was found not guilty by a Florida jury.

The streets were flooded Sunday afternoon, and even into the night a large crowd remained on the 14th Street side of Union Square and in Times Square.

“I was actually here for the last Trayvon Martin rally when his parents were here, and there was something that came out of that,” Union Square protester Tamara Hood told theGrio.

“I was disappointed, of course,” she said about the verdict, “but I was ready to rally again.”

Another Union Square supporter, Drew, said his message to fellow supporters is to “get active.”

“Everyone’s here. We all have our different takes, but we’re all here for the same reason,” he said.  “So we come together, talk to people, spread the word, and that’s how we get the word out.”

“I have a sign saying ‘We are Trayvon,'” Xavier Pratt said.  “I am a teenager, the same age as Trayvon, and any day I am walking home from school or from a park or anything, I can be shot for no reason, just like Trayvon Martin was.”

In response to the Zimmerman verdict Sampson Tyrone to theGrio he “expected it.”

“The stand your ground law, it was hard to really fight that,” he said.  “So we here to try and change it. So we here for change.”

Alfred Espin, who was carrying a sign at the Union Square rally, said the Zimmerman verdict brought back bad memories of his personal experience with gun violence.

The young Latino man said three years ago he was walking home when he “was approached by three gentlemen and then one of them came up from behind, shot me with a .45 caliber gun.”

After sustaining the gunshot injury to his arm and abdomen, Espin said he called 9-1-1, but that a gypsy cab driver stopped and agreed to drive him to the hospital.

“I was truly disgusted, truly upset,” Espin said of the verdict.  “Trayvon Martin is not here. George Zimmerman is at home watching TV, enjoying himself with his family. I think it’s an outrage.”

“Not only to a black person, to a Hispanic person, white, it doesn’t matter what color,” he said.  “I don’t want it to happen ever again.”

Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals

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