Hundreds of protesters came together on the seventh day of a heatwave in the Nassau town and found different ways to voice their frustrations on racism, Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, and the death of Trayvon Martin. Some chanted and held signs saying “Not guilty is not an option for murder”, and others wore shirts that pushed for a boycott of the state of Florida.
These protests come a day after President Barack Obama called for a review of the Stand Your Ground Law and said “Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago.” Reverend Al Sharpton, one of the main organizers of these rallies, released a statement friday on the President’s comments saying “I think the President’s remarks were significant and much needed, and as we prepare to coordinate vigils in one hundred cities tomorrow with the parents of Trayvon Martin, I think he has set a tone for both direct action and needed dialogue.”
The main Justice for Trayvon Rally took place outside of the NYPD’s headquarters in One Police Plaza in Manhattan. Speaking at the rally was Al Sharpton and the mother of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton. “Not only do I vow to you to do what I can for Trayvon Martin" Fulton said, "I promise I’m gonna work hard for your children as well because it's important." Jay-Z and Beyonce also showed up at the rally outside of the police headquarters but they didn't speak.
These protests in Hempstead, New York City, and all over the United states come a week after a jury of six women in a South Florida courthouse found George Zimmerman not-guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Jurors deliberating for two days after three weeks of testimony that included 50 witnesses and 60 pieces evidences.
After every news channel had their camera’s focused on the courthouse for most of Saturday, July 13, waiting for the jury’s decision, Zimmerman was let off on the grounds that the shooting was in self-defense. The trial created a media firestorm for most of 2012 and 2013 sparking dialogue over gun control and race.