Trayvon Martin supporters to rally on anniversary
Activists are set to rally Tuesday in several US cities demanding justice for slain black teenager Trayvon Martin on the anniversary of death.
Martin, 17, was shot dead on a rainy night one year ago by George Zimmerman, 29, a volunteer night watchman. Zimmerman had followed Martin into a gated community in Sanford, in central Florida, and said he shot the unarmed teen in self defense following an altercation.
Martin's parents Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton will be at New York's Union Square late Tuesday for an event being billed as a "Million Hoodie Vigil," a group organizing the rally called the Stop Mass Incarceration Network said.
"We're doing this for Trayvon. We're doing this so we can help other kids," Sybrina Fulton told CNN on Tuesday. "Other teenagers have been shot and killed... through senseless gun violence and we feel like we need to do something about it as parents."
Sanford police initially released Zimmerman after the shooting because they said he was acting in accordance with controversial Florida self-defense laws.
The case fueled widespread outrage that led to rallies around the countries. The Martin family claimed that Zimmerman had racially profiled the teen.
Zimmerman was later arrested and faces a second-degree murder charge when his Florida trial begins June 10. He has pleaded not guilty, and faces life in prison if convicted.
"We just want to have that trial, and let the jury decide," Sybrina Fulton told CNN late Monday. "And whatever decision comes out of that, we're going to accept that.
"We may not like it, but we're going to accept it," she said.
Candlelight vigils are also scheduled Tuesday for Sanford, Florida as well as other cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Supporters will gather for a moment of silence to honor the late teen, who would have turned 18 on February 5, as well as "all victims of senseless gun violence," the family's law firm said.