Activists rally at Georgia statehouse to honor slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin

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ATLANTA — Thousands rallied Monday on the steps of the state Capitol in memory of the Florida teen who was shot to death by a neighborhood watch captain.

Traffic slows as a rally takes place outside the Georgia Capitol in memory of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old who was killed by a Florida neighborhood watch captain while returning from a convenience store.  ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Traffic slows as a rally takes place outside the Georgia Capitol in memory of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old who was killed by a Florida neighborhood watch captain while returning from a convenience store.

Civil rights groups, college students and public officials called for an end to stand-your-ground laws, warning they feared those laws could pose a menace in Georgia and 20 other states where such measures are on the books.

The crowd spilled into the street, snarling rush hour traffic downtown as many protesters wore hoodies and carried Skittles in honor of the slain 17-year-old youth, Trayvon Martin.

Authorities say Martin was shot Feb. 26 by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old who said he was acting in self-defense and hasn’t been arrested. The unarmed Martin was returning from buying candy at a convenience store in a Sanford, Fla., neighborhood when the shooting occurred.

“I just wanted to show my support the best way I knew how,” said 22-year-old Clark Atlanta University senior Carmen Ellis, before the two-hour rally started. “This is the least I can do, stand out here in 80-degree weather with a hoodie on and make sure people know I’m standing for justice and what’s right.”

Black state lawmakers in attendance vowed to introduce legislation to repeal Georgia’s stand-your-ground law. Any bill introduced this week would have to be taken up next year because the legislative session ends Thursday.

The GOP-led Legislature is mulling a number of gun bills this session, including measures that would allow 18-year-olds to receive concealed weapon permits and would let people hunt with silenced firearms.

“Some of my colleagues will not understand why we want to stop these gun laws, but you see they don’t have to have the conversation that black mothers have to have with their black sons every day,” said state Rep. Alisha Morgan, a Democrat from Austell. “They don’t have to go to funerals of teenage boys who have been shot in their own communities.”

The crowd at the rally in downtown Atlanta chanted “I am Trayvon!” and “Arrest Zimmerman now!” The protest ended with the crowd linking hands and singing, We Shall Overcome.

Similar rallies have been held across the country since Martin’s death a month ago. The shooting has struck a chord in Atlanta, which has the largest concentration of historically black colleges in the country.

Students from Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University spoke at the rally, encouraging their fellow students to talk to their lawmakers about gun laws. Students wore hoodies that said, “I am Trayvon Martin” and lofted signs reading, “Don’t shoot!” and “I could be next.”

“We’re humans, and even more so, we’re American citizens, and we have the expectation that justice will be delivered,” said Ronnie Mosley, 20, a student at Morehouse who helped organize the rally. “We have to stand our ground on issues like this, especially when election time comes.”

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Just My Opinion
5454
Points
Just My Opinion 03/27/12 - 04:56 am
9
4
So, what about the fact that

So, what about the fact that Zimmerman had a bloody nose and the bloody injuries to the back of his head? What about the eye witnesses who agreed that Zimmerman was walking AWAY from the area and back to his car BEFORE encountering Martin? What about the eye witnesses who corroborate Zimmerman's story that Martin jumped him and was on top of him as he beat Zimmerman in the head? What about the eye witnesses that heard Zimmerman's shot AFTER first being beaten by Martin? Hey, I don't want to upset you "blind" Trayvon loyalists who think that, just because Al Sharpton says it, that Zimmerman is a racist and shot an innocent little boy who was just going to the store to buy candy for his brother. I can't believe that these college students would just blindly throw their support without first learning all the facts. As far as myself, I did wait to form my opinion until I learned more about what had happened. Oh, well. This is obviously just the latest "cause" for Sharpton and Jackson to keep their machines funded.

Riverman1
82158
Points
Riverman1 03/27/12 - 05:06 am
10
4
The facts of this case are an

The facts of this case are an inconvenient truth that the protestors want to ignore. It's like everyone just makes up his own reality to fit his mood.

InChristLove
22459
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InChristLove 03/27/12 - 06:23 am
7
4
You comment deserve ten

You comment deserve ten thumbs up Riverman. No one seems to be interested in finding out the truth.....doesn't make any difference to them so long as we can protest, carry our skittles, and get a new hoodie! Doesn't matter if the investigation proves this was self defense, or the fact that Trayvon isn't some innocent looking 10 year old they keep displaying pictures of. This was a 17 year old (some would considered a man) who was 6'2". No one wants to explain how Mr. Zimmerman received an injury to the back of his head, how he received a bloody nose and how he got the grass stains on the back of his clothing. I feel for the Martin family and the loss of their son, no parent should have to go through that. But on the other side, this vigilanty style justice makes me want to puke.

Little Lamb
45276
Points
Little Lamb 03/27/12 - 08:24 am
2
6
Just My Opinion wrote: Hey, I

Just My Opinion wrote:

Hey, I don't want to upset you "blind" Trayvon loyalists who think that, just because Al Sharpton says it, that Zimmerman is a racist and shot an innocent little boy who was just going to the store to buy candy for his brother.

The marijuana explains the candy.

Little Lamb
45276
Points
Little Lamb 03/27/12 - 08:33 am
5
4
Okay, folks, now that the

Okay, folks, now that the facts clearly show that Zimmerman was acting in self defense, we've got to bring this tragic episode to a peaceful conclusion. The trouble is that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton (The Justice Brothers) must not be seen with egg on their faces. They have called for Zimmerman's arrest. If he is not arrested then Jackson and Sharpton appear impotent. So, the plan is to arrest Zimmerman, let him out on bond, then have the special prosecutor gnash his teeth at the stand your ground law, and regretfully drop the charges. That way, Jackson and Sharpton keep their status, and everyone can go home.

Oh, yes, Martin's parents must file a civil suit against Zimmerman to keep him impoverished for the rest of his life.

fiveobike1
65
Points
fiveobike1 03/27/12 - 09:09 am
7
4
Al and Jessie should both be

Al and Jessie should both be charged with enciting public unrest, They are creating a lynch mob who now it seems is unjustified altogether as some of the facts come out.. looks like it is clearly a self defense case.. Al and Jessie should be forced to pay the overtime and expenses created by these protests. Or perhaps Mama Trayvon who has copy righted her dead sons name and "i am Trayvon" to make a profit off of t-shirts.. shame... shame.. on all of them.. But thats our mentality when a black person is killed by a white or in this case hispanic male, someone please tell me last time the white community became unrested and protested the killing of a white person by a black male.. which happens far more often then the other way around...

itsanotherday1
41879
Points
itsanotherday1 03/27/12 - 09:13 am
4
3
This is a perfect example of

This is a perfect example of how initial reports that seem so conclusive, may be very misleading. I still feel that Zimmerman has some culpability, but with a reliable eyewitness filling in the blanks it paints a totally different picture.

However, the complicit media are still portraying it as it was first told. I have one eye on the NBC morning show and talking heads are still failing to acknowledge the new info, and are still showing his younger picture.

Little Lamb
45276
Points
Little Lamb 03/27/12 - 09:18 am
5
4
The story is not over,

The story is not over, itsanotherday. The Justice Brothers may intimidate that witness into recanting (or face the Black Panther bounty hunters).

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 03/27/12 - 09:48 am
6
6
Why did i have a feeling that

Why did i have a feeling that most of the posters on this site would back the killer? It doesn't matter if Martin and Zimmerman got into a scuffle. Martin was legally walking down the street, harming no one, and interacting with no one. Zimmerman called police and was told not to follow him. He then disobeyed what he was told by the police and continued to follow Martin. He should have disengaged at that point and left it to the authorities. Since he was in a vehicle, he should have driven away. For any confrontation to take place, Zimmerman had to disobey police instructions, continue to follow him, then get out of his vehicle, and confront Martin. Case closed right there. I can guarantee, that had the races of the parties been reversed, posters here would be calling for Zimmerman's head.

deadline
0
Points
deadline 03/27/12 - 09:53 am
3
2
For arguments sake: Lets say

For arguments sake: Lets say I get bullied in the school yard, and in my defense I knock down the ARMED aggressor ,he gets wounds on his head and back, and then he pulls out a gun and shoots me...

At what point does the aggressor become the defender?

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 03/27/12 - 09:56 am
5
3
"What Everyone Should Know

"What Everyone Should Know About Trayvon Martin (1995-2012)"

"22. Police ignored witness whose account was different from Zimmerman’s.'One of the witnesses who heard the crying said she called a detective repeatedly, but said he was not interested because her account differed from Zimmerman’s.' [Miami Herald]"

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/03/18/446768/what-everyone-should-...

Little Lamb
45276
Points
Little Lamb 03/27/12 - 09:57 am
4
6
Techfan wrote: I can

Techfan wrote:

I can guarantee, that had the races of the parties been reversed, posters here would be calling for Zimmerman's head.

Not I, Techfan.

deadline
0
Points
deadline 03/27/12 - 09:58 am
5
1
What bothers me about this

What bothers me about this case is at least from prelim reports, Trayvon was just walking down the street, he wasn't breaking into cars or homes or causing any disturbance, yet Zimmerman felt the need to pursue him (by leaving his truck or home) AGAINST the advice of 911 dispatcher.

Little Lamb
45276
Points
Little Lamb 03/27/12 - 09:59 am
2
0
Don't worry, BJ. There is a

Don't worry, BJ. There is a new special prosecutor on the case. He will not ignore that witness's account.

fiveobike1
65
Points
fiveobike1 03/27/12 - 10:00 am
6
2
if the races where reversed

if the races where reversed we would not have heard anything about this.. it might have gotten some local coverage if that....

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 03/27/12 - 10:00 am
2
3
Florida legislature considers

Florida legislature considers changing name of law from “Stand Your Ground” to “Run Your Ground” in honor of Zimmerman.

Little Lamb
45276
Points
Little Lamb 03/27/12 - 10:01 am
5
4
Techfan wrote: Zimmerman

Techfan wrote:

Zimmerman called police and was told not to follow him.

The 911 dispatcher who told Zimmerman not to follow Martin had no authority over Zimmerman. There is no law that says you have to do what a 911 dispatcher tells you to do.

deadline
0
Points
deadline 03/27/12 - 10:12 am
3
4
Hi I'm John Quinones from

Hi I'm John Quinones from ABC's "What would you do?"

Today's question:

Lets say you are in the park eating some ice cream when you notice an armed man following you despite your attempts to walk faster. He begins to approach you...

Little Lamb
45276
Points
Little Lamb 03/27/12 - 10:14 am
4
1
From all the accounts I have

From all the accounts I have read, Zimmerman's gun was concealed. Martin would not have known Zimmerman was armed. So you might want to re-word your "What would you do?" scenario.

itsanotherday1
41879
Points
itsanotherday1 03/27/12 - 10:18 am
4
0
Let's suppose that Zimmerman

Let's suppose that Zimmerman did shoot in self defense after he was attacked and beaten by Martin; and let's assume Martin was provoked by Zimmerman following him. What laws were broken, and by whom? Clearly, had Zimmerman not followed this guy and only reported his suspicions to the police, we wouldn't be talking about it today. He definitely caused the situation, but I ask again, what law did he break if the facts are as I described? What law did Martin break?

deadline
0
Points
deadline 03/27/12 - 10:17 am
0
0
LL: I've been trying to find

LL: I've been trying to find that out... Can you post a link?

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 03/27/12 - 10:17 am
5
1
"What Everyone Needs To Know

"What Everyone Needs To Know About The Smear Campaign Against Trayvon Martin (1995-2012)"

"Thus far these attacks have fallen into two categories: false and irrelevant. Much of this leaked information seems intended to play into stereotypes about young African-American males. Here’s what everyone should know:

1. Prominent conservative websites published fake photos of Martin. Twitchy, a new website run by prominent conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, promoted a photo — purportedly from Martin’s Facebook page — that shows Martin in saggy pants and flipping the bird. The photo, which spread quickly on conservative websites and Twitter, is intended to paint Martin as a thug. As Twitchy later acknowledged, it is not a photo of Trayvon Martin. [Examiner]"

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/03/26/452310/what-everyone-needs-t...

fiveobike1
65
Points
fiveobike1 03/27/12 - 10:18 am
3
3
How bout... a man is beating

How bout... a man is beating you agout the head and face and smashing the back of your skull to the concrete side walk... waht would you do??

Little Lamb
45276
Points
Little Lamb 03/27/12 - 10:18 am
5
4
Also, from one account I

Also, from one account I read, Martin eluded Zimmerman and Zimmerman was returning to his SUV when Martin confronted him verbally. When Zimmerman turned around, Marting decked him with one punch in the face, giving Zimmerman a bloody nose and a swollen lip.

That sir, is what is known in Tennessee as an attack.

Little Lamb
45276
Points
Little Lamb 03/27/12 - 10:20 am
2
2
Clearly item number 1 in BJ's

Clearly item number 1 in BJ's things everybody needs to know list falls into the irrelevant category.

InChristLove
22459
Points
InChristLove 03/27/12 - 10:21 am
6
3
"Zimmerman told them he had

"Zimmerman told them he had lost sight of Martin and was walking back to his SUV when Martin approached him from the left rear, and they exchanged words. Martin asked Zimmerman whether he had a problem. Zimmerman said no and reached for his cell phone, he told police.

Martin then said, "Well, you do now" or something similar and punched Zimmerman in the nose.

Zimmerman fell, and Martin got on top of him and began slamming his head into the sidewalk, Zimmerman told police. Zimmerman began yelling for help."

deadline, evidently it was Martin who in the end was following Zimmerman, since according to the report Zimmermanlost sight of Martin and was returning to his vehicle. If Martin was so scared, he would have continued getting the heck out of there, not return to the thing "he was scared" of. He would have never confronted Zimmerman.

deadline
0
Points
deadline 03/27/12 - 10:27 am
3
1
"How bout... a man is beating

"How bout... a man is beating you agout the head and face and smashing the back of your skull to the concrete side walk... waht would you do??"

Smashing? As a physician, one good "smash" to the back of the head on concrete would render you incapacitated and produce a large hematoma as the scalp is very well supplied... Zimmerman had a bloody nose and some scratches, never went to hospital

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 03/27/12 - 10:29 am
4
2
As indicated in 9/11 police

As indicated in 9/11 police logs, Zimmerman is a very level headed individual; however, he calls 9/11 below when clearly he should have called NORAD and the Pentagon.

“Trayvon Martin's Killer Once Reported A '7-9' Year-Old Black Kid To The Police”

“A 47-page log of Zimmerman's most recent 9-1-1 calls, posted online today by the city of Sanford, Fla., contains at least five calls concerning black youths whom Zimmerman suspected of nefarious behavior. But one call in particular caught our eye.

On April 22, 2011, Zimmerman called the police about a ‘7-9’ year-old black male, described as ‘approx. 04ft.’ tall with a ‘skinny build,’ who was walking toward an elementary school.”

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-03-23/politics/31228645_1_black...

iLove
626
Points
iLove 03/27/12 - 10:29 am
6
2
Another said: "What law did
Unpublished

Another said: "What law did Martin break?"

Walking while black.

Even though Zimmerman caused this to happen, it is still Martin's fault??!!?

deadline
0
Points
deadline 03/27/12 - 10:29 am
3
1
ICL: That is Zimmermans

ICL: That is Zimmermans account of the situation.

I am merely asking what would you do when you are confronted and followed by an armed individual.

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