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Trayvon Martin rally held in downtown LA

March 26, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
More than a thousand people rallied in downtown Los Angeles on Monday afternoon in support of Trayvon Martin, a Florida teenager shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer.

Demonstrators at the "1 Million Hoodie March for Trayvon Martin" marched from Pershing Square to City Hall. The march was organized in three days. Many of them wore hoodies, the same garment Martin was wearing when he was shot.

The rally came on the one-month anniversary of the fatal shooting in Sanford, Fla. The man responsible, George Zimmerman, claimed self-defense and has not been arrested.

Zimmerman, 28, said he pursued the teen in the gated community because he appeared suspicious. He told police Martin attacked him, punching him in the nose and slamming his head on the sidewalk. He also said Martin tried to go for his gun.

Zimmerman is 5-foot-9 and more than 200 pounds. Martin was 6-foot-2 and about 140 pounds. The confrontation resulted in a single bullet to Martin's chest.

Because Martin was black and Zimmerman has a white father and Hispanic mother, the case has become a racial flashpoint that has civil rights leaders and others leading a series of protests in Sanford and around the country. The rally in Sanford drew 8,000 supporters.

A vigil in support of Martin was also held in South Los Angeles earlier in the day. Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks was joined by pastors from all over the city in a prayer vigil at McCoy Memorial Baptist Church, where they demanded that authorities in Florida take action.

"Enough is enough," Pastor Marvin Davis said. "We are calling for the arrest today, we want the arrest of Mr. Zimmerman."

At the time of the shooting, Martin had been suspended from school for marijuana possession. Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, and family attorneys blamed police for leaking the information about the marijuana and Zimmerman's claim about the attack to the news media in an effort to demonize the teenager.

"They killed my son and now they're trying to kill his reputation," Fulton told reporters.


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