Justice For Trayvon Martin: Hundreds March Boston After Verdict

Protesters met in Roxbury on Sunday night before rallying in the streets in opposition of the trial’s outcome.

Photo by Steve Annear

Photo by Steve Annear

For Anwar Luckman, the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was the “straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Luckman spoke to hundreds of protesters that gathered in Dudley Square on Sunday night for the “Justice for Trayvon Martin: Day of Decision Protest,” a rally organized on Facebook, and spurred by a Florida jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Martin in 2012.

“Shit is hitting the fan in this country,” said Luckman, who brought his bike with him to the protest as a symbol of racial profiling. Weeks prior to the jury’s decision, the 22-year-old Milton resident was arrested by police following an alleged scuffle, which started when officers tailed him based on his skin color as he rode his bike through affluent parts of Brookline late at night, he said.

Luckman was one of dozens of speakers at Sunday’s rally, which featured appearances by City Councilors Tito Jackson and Charles Yancey.

Yancey, a mayoral candidate, called for a moment of silence in the crowd during his speech, before drawing an uproarious response from attendees, chanting, “We are Trayvon Martin,” in a show of solidarity for the teen.

Speakers touched on a range of topics besides the Zimmerman trial such as racial inequality, social injustices, and the recent spate of shootings and gun-related violence in Boston.

There was a light police presence during the speaker portion of the protest in Roxbury as hundreds of demonstrators stood shoulder-to-shoulder, trying to ignore the sweltering summer heat, fanning themselves with fliers passed out to the crowd, and listening intently to people from the community. Some attendees donned hooded sweatshirts reminiscent of the one worn by Martin the night he was killed while others clutched bottles of iced tea and Skittles, the items that Martin had purchased at a convenient store moments before he was killed by Zimmerman during the altercation.

“This is an important issue not only for the minorities that live in Boston, but because [Trayvon] was somebody’s child—and it could have been anyone’s child,” said Sheila Burke, member of Ora’s Place, Inc., a non-profit group that promotes community services. “This is more than a ‘black and white’ issue. Zimmerman shouldn’t get away with murder. He should be charged with something. I think it’s great that the community came together to show support for Trayvon’s family, and fight a decision that was unfair.”

State Representative Gloria Fox said she hopes the protests bring civil justice to the Martin family and to people of color, through charges handed down by the Department of Justice. Boston’s protest was one of several that took place across the country over the weekend, one of which turned violent.

On Sunday, the DOJ acknowledged that they were probing the death of Martin and examining the case as it pertained to civil rights injustices.

Although a six-member Florida jury found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and other charges at a state level, the DOJ said “experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation of any of the limited federal criminal civil rights statutes … and whether federal prosecution is appropriate.”

The DOJ’s statement came less than 24 hours after a national petition started by the NAACP, stating that Martin’s “right to life was violated” the night Zimmerman “stalked” the Florida teen, received hundreds of thousands of signatures. “We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation,” the petition said.

Demonstrators at Sunday’s rally used the momentum started by the NAACP for their large protest when they hit the streets following the rally, and marched from Dudley Square to the Ruggles MBTA Station, amassing thousands along the way on Tremont Street, chanting in unision. “We have to put the pressure on so we can have the Department of Justice do its job, and bring George Zimmerman to trial,” said Yancey.

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  • http://www.fibrowitch.net Jan Dumas

    So far this year according to the cities own records 73 people have been murdered. I don’t know what color they were, or the color of the person who shot them, or even what they were doing when they were shot. Some of them might have been shot when they were kneeling on some ones chest beating them, some may have been shot for just being at the wrong place at the wrong time. But, nobody is out on the street demanding justice for them? Does the community only want “justice” only when the person pulling the trigger is white and the person getting shot is black? The jury has spoken, they found George Zimmerman not guilty! That made a lot of people in Boston angry, but not angry enough to solve any of the 73 murders the city has had so far.

    • Sam West

      The media even changed Zimmerman’s race from “latino” to “white” to make the narrative fit. Who cares about reality? These racist protestors want a story in which an innocent black boy is murdered by a white man and the media snaps in line to deliver. What a farce!

      • Tony

        A small correction “White Hispanic” so the two buffons Revs Jackson and Sharpton could start their poor black routines.
        Thank God that Zimmerman was 50% Latino or he would have been sent to the gallows without a trial.
        The lead police investigator found no probable cause to charge George. The local DA found no probable cause.
        The State Attorney decided to hang George to satisfy the howling crowds. The Chief of Police was fired by the Sanford City Council because he would not arrest George.

        I think that “Crackers” and “Red Necks” best stay out of Boston or the white honky liberals will string them up in memory of Trayvon.

      • http://smu.gs/L1p7XU winston

        Latino is not race.. and race is not what we once thought.

        The only farce is that Zimmerman initiated a confrontation that ended in the death of a teenager. and then was wrongfully acquitted of manslaughter.

        (Martin’s right to stand his ground came into play first that night, the prosecution failed to mention. prosecutor totally blew this case. That and a completely racist system that we never designed to protect black people. It was designed to house them.

        We did not believe OJ was guilty because he was a black man, we believed it because that is what the evidence overwhelming showed. This case is no different. Only of course, Zimmerman is not evil person. He seems like a good guy, neighborhood watch, Not a racist. Just not a lot of smarts. His deployment of that weapon was not an appropriate, justifiable use of deadly, force, Nothing you say is gonna change that.

  • Charley Peters

    I would suggest that these people go down to the Cape and rally around that “Great White” !!!! LOL

  • Scott Mays

    It’s a shame that some have negative thoughts towards the protestors voicing their opinions. A large majority of the positive changes that occurred in our country were sparked by a specific event that held the attention of the nation. Sometimes it takes an event, a group of people pushing a story, or an angry few to create change or in the least spark a conversation. There are many things that we know are negative or that we don’t like that we do nothing about until a major event occurs. From something as small as lossing weight only when our wedding is weeks away to marching and voicing our dissatisfaction only when the event becomes international news. Change occurs from action. Racism exist, stereotyping will continue to be an issue. Law enforcement should have done more investigating sooner, as we should do more to enforce justice for the many. Action is necessary, so never disrespect someone’s actions for positive change.