Trayvon Martin protests continue in Chicago
March 23, (2012) (CHICAGO -- There were marches across the country as well as here in Chicago over the shooting death of an unarmed teenager in Florida.
In his original story that aired Friday March 23, 2012 Reporter Paul Meincke misspoke at the end of that live report. He meant to say Zimmerman, not Martin, made a 911 call.
President Obama urged Americans to do some soul searching following the death of 17-year old Trayvon Martin who was shot by a neighborhood watch captain who says he was acting in self defense. He has not been charged.
ABC7's Paul Meincke talked with some of those seeking justice for Trayvon Martin in Chicago.
There were students - some the same age and younger than Trayvon Martin. There were graying veterans of the civil rights movement who came out because - as they said - Trayvon Martin could be our son or grandson. They marched peacefully with a police escort Friday afternoon from Millenium Park through The Loop and back again to make sure their voices are heard.
Over 200 people joined the march - different ages, different life experiences, but their bond is their outrage over the death of Trayvon Martin. Many of the marchers symbolically carried cans of iced tea and packages of candy - the same things that the Florida teen had with him when he was shot and killed last month.
Among the marchers, there is anger with what happened in Florida, with the investigation that followed, and also demands that the justice department dig deep into the shooting, the man who pulled the trigger, the actions of local police, and a Florida "Stand your ground law" that has stirred controversy.
Though Trayvon Martin's death happened far away, the marchers want to make the point that that type of tragedy is *NOT* defined by geography.
"We thought that we had arrived when we got Dr. King and he made ways for us, so we just stopped marching. Now people do stuff to us and we just say 'it's not my problem' 'it's not my son or not my daughter', but it's all of our kids," said Velma Henderson.
"I know a lot of kids don't really think it could happen to them, but I'm here...even if I am the only teenager...I really don't care, because a bullet doesn't have a name on it. It could be any kids any day and I think the kids should take it more seriously and it shouldn't just be the adults out here marching for their kids, but the kids too," said Janeya Cunningham.
"This type of small march with small publicity...it's a snowball effect and the snowball won't grow unless it starts rolling. So I think these things add up and once you continue to build on them and build on them it causes people to have the conversation. It causes the discussion that needs to happen," said George Davis.
George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old Sanford, Florida watch captain who shot and killed Trayvon Martin has not been charged. He's claimed he acted in self defense, but the justice department has opened a federal civil rights investigation, and that will run parallel to a county grand jury probe.
The FBI is attempting to determine if 911 recordings - which captured Zimmerman's voice in the background - can be audio enhanced to more clearly hear what was said.
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