Phila. rallies for justice in killing of Fla. teen
PHILADELPHIA - March 23, 2012 (WPVI) -- Trayvon Martin's killing sparked a national fire storm and 5,000 people participated in Philadelphia's Million Hoodie March to rally for justice.
The Trayvon Martin case and the Million Hoodie March have gone viral on the streets across America and online.
People are posting pictures of themselves wearing hoodie sweatshirts on Facebook, and at demonstrations, including Washington, D.C. where men, women and children were wearing hoodies.
17 year old Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie when he was shot by a townwatch captain in the Orlando, Florida suburb of Sanford.
Police officials say not only was Martin unarmed, but all he was carrying was a cup of tea and a bag of skittles, which are now showing up at rallies.
At his Miami school, students formed Trayvon's initials on the football field.
As for the shooter, George Zimmerman, he is staying out of sight on the advice of his lawyer.
He has not been arrested, and that is stoking the embers of resentment in the minority community and elsewhere.
He continues to insist he was acting in self defense. The attorney, Craig Sonner, said Friday the facts will bear that out.
At the White House, President Obama made his first public comment about the controversy.
"If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon. I think that they are right to expect all of us, as Americans, are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and we're going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened," said President Obama.
The FBI and the justice department have launched civil rights investigations, and local authorities say a grand jury will look into the shooting.
Philadelphia joined the protests with the first Philadelphia Million Hoodie March Friday night.
The images were powerful as thousands of people marched across Center City Philadelphia for Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
"I mean how can you be surprised, this is what's suppose to happen when you have an injustice like this happen like it happened down in Sanford, Florida," said Jason Moody.
At 7:17pm, the time police found Trayvon's body, Philadelphia launched the first Million Hoodie March outside of 30th Street Station.
People held signs and wore hoodies like the one Trayvon was wearing when he was shot and killed by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman hasn't been charged and says he shot Martin in self-defense.
People everywhere are speaking out about the incident.
"As a mother, as you can see she has a hoodie on, her hair is braided so you might be able to tell if she's a young male or a young female, but you can tell she's black, and my thoughts are it could happen to her," said Demetrica Todd-Hunter.
Philadelphia is just one of the many cities joining in on the national protest and outrage.
"On our urban streets, our kids are dying at a rapid rate. It's an injustice anywhere, we are fighting for what's right," said Jason Moody.
Moody is one of the organizers for Friday's Million Hoodie March. The march will take place from 30th Street Station to Love Park.
The goal for the march is to show support and also raise awareness.
"We definitely want to bring awareness and just show how some governments across America are still flawed and we need to fix them," said Moody.
"I don't understand how they have a gun law that allows someone to shoot someone in cold blood and not be arrested," said Judith Blanks.
Local leaders are also speaking up.
"Trayvon Martin, a young man basically minding his business, in my opinion at least, was assassinated," said Mayor Michael Nutter.
Mayor Nutter echoed President Obama's statement earlier Friday about Martin's murder.
"As a father, as a citizen, I have a relatively young son and people who care about children have to be affected by this," he said.
Prosecutor Seth Williams released a picture of himself wearing a hoodie.
"As a prosecutor, I am ashamed and embarrassed that George Zimmerman wasn't arrested on the spot, and I hope he will be tried in a court of law soon," said Williams.
A large crowd could be seen from Chopper 6; the crowd hoping the large turnout will help prove that injustice will not be tolerated.
"I am totally outraged and heartbroken; more than anything heartbroken, because it is so baseless," said Cindy Woodham.
The group Occupy the Dream Philadelphia is one of the organizations sponsoring events of solidarity in the area.
In a press release Friday night the group say they will continue to work towards justice and equality for everyone.
"Occupy the Dream Philadelphia stands in solidarity with the family of Trayvon Martin, the community of Samford, various organizations and people across the world demanding justice."
Several other events are planned for the coming days.
" Sunday, March 25th 7am - 2pm HOODIES IN THE PULPIT (faith community cries for justice)
" Monday, March 26th 6:30pm - Love Park CANDLELIGHT VIGIL for Trayvon Martin
" Thursday, March 28th 6pm - Love Park RALLY AGAINST VIOLENCE
" Sunday, April 1st 6pm - Temple University Rally for Trayvon Martin
philadelphia, pennsylvania, florida, local/state
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