In New York City on Sunday afternoon, hundreds of demonstrators faced temperatures that nearly hit 90 degrees to gather in Union Square for a “Justice 4 Trayvon” rally. “This is a show of strength, but it’s also a show of solidarity with the family because last night, what happened, was complete disrespect to them,” said Imani Henry, an activist with the People’s Power Assembly. “We want to show love and respect to them.”
Some in the crowd said they were still in shock over the verdict. “I’ve been speechless all night, I couldn’t sleep,” said Kelly Knight, a Brooklyn resident who came for the protest. “I have a young daughter, and I thought, if it happened to him, it could happen to her,” she said.
Local churches across the country were also organizing rallies and urging supporters to wear hoodies in honor of Martin, who was wearing a black hoodie when Zimmerman shot him in the chest on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self-defense after the teen attacked him.
In Sanford, Fla., where the shooting took place, demonstrators continued to hold rallies well into Sunday evening. Along with expressing solidarity with Martin, many held signs calling for an end to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows people fearing for their lives to use deadly force if they believe their lives are at risk.
In the Florida state capital of Tallahassee on Sunday, roughly 200 protesters, some wearing hoodies, sang songs of justice and carried signs that said “Racism is Not Dead.”
Read More: Marches, rallies follow Zimmerman acquittal.