Thousands of people protested Thursday night demanding an arrest of 28-year-old neighborhood watch captain who last month shot dead Florida black teen Trayvon Martin.
Civil rights leader Al Sharpton, lawmakers like Congresswoman Corrine Brown and Martin's parents led the charge of the rally. Sharpton's 87-year-old mother died hours before the rally, but he still attended the rally saying, This is where she would want me to be.
Twenty-six days ago this young man, Trayvon Martin, did nothing criminal, did nothing unethical, USA Today reported, quoting Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network.
He went to the store for his brother. He came back and lost his life. Trayvon could have been any one of our sons, he could have been any one of us. Trayvon represents a reckless disregard for our lives that we've seen for too long.
He said George Zimmerman should have been arrested that night.
The rally, which began at 7 p.m., was originally scheduled to be held at First Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. But because of overwhelming response, the venue was shifted to Fort Mellon Park in Sanford, Florida.
Martin's parents also spoke to the crowd hours after Governor Scott said that the local attorney Norman Wolfinger has left the case.
Trayvon is your son. Trayvon is your son. I just want to say thank you for all of your support. It means a lot to me and my family, said Sabrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother. We want justice for Trayvon.
The case has gathered national attention and has sparked outrage in Orlando. On Thursday, people protested with chants like No Justice, no peace.
Sharpton took up some monetary collection from the people who were present in the rally. According to The Christian Science Monitor, Sharpton started the monetary collection with a $2,500 pledge which was joined by Greg Mathis and Baisden who both pledged $10,000 each. former New York governor David Paterson donated $2,000.
Brown, who joined the rally to support Martin's parents, said: Trayvon's death has to be a teachable moment for us because there is no good ending.
I only want one thing, and it's real simple. I want an arrest, Brown said. We can't change the outcome, but we can make sure the system is fair.