Beyoncé and Jay Z took to the streets of New York City over the weekend to protest the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Zimmerman killed unarmed 17-year-old teenager Trayvon Martin last February, and a jury of six women found the 29-year-old not guilty earlier this month.
His acquittal sparked reactions from around the world, including civil rights organization NAACP, which said Sunday that they are “deeply troubled by the jury’s verdict.” Protests were held around the country after the decision was announced, including in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles.
The 31-year-old singer first showed support for Martin during one of her concert performances in Nashville. Beyoncé, on the night of the verdict, asked for a moment of silence for the murdered teenager and proceeded to sing “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston, which includes the lyrics, “I hope life treats you kind/and I hope you have all you've dreamed of/and I wish to you, joy and happiness/but above all this, I wish you love." She then ended the encore with her own song, “Halo,” which says, in part, "I can feel your halo/pray it won't fade away."
The night before the rally, which took place on Saturday, Beyoncé asked fans to sign a petition and join the march, tweeting, "#actnow4Travyon."
"Trayvon Martin's most basic civil right, the right to live, was violated," she wrote on her official Tumblr page. At the rally, she and Jay Z honored Martin's memory alongside civil rights activist Al Sharpton and hundreds of thousands of protesters. "Jay Z and Beyoncé said they didn't want to speak, and they didn't come for a photo op," Sharpton told the crowd.
"Jay Z told me, 'I'm a father. Beyoncé is a mother.' We all feel the pain and apprehension -- the laws must protect everybody or it doesn't protect anybody. We do not come from hate; we come from love of children," Sharpton continued. While they did not pose with fans, the famous couple did make sure to meet and speak with Martin’s parents, Tracy and Sybrina Fulton, at the demonstration.