Protests For Trayvon Martin Continue in Chicago

The Jackson family wants to end "Stand Your Ground" state laws

By Alexandra Clark and Sharon Wright
|  Sunday, Mar 25, 2012  |  Updated 9:09 AM CDT
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NBC5 Sharon Wright reports on the Trayvon Martin rally held in Daley Plaza along with new developments in the story.

NBC5 Sharon Wright reports on the Trayvon Martin rally held in Daley Plaza along with new developments in the story.

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Demands for justice in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin continued throughout Chicago on Saturday, the second day in a row.

"There is an attempt by the Sanford Police to cover this thing up," said former 9th Ward Alderman Robert Shaw during a rally in Daley Plaza on Saturday. "But it's out in the open, and thank god it is."

More than 150 people showed up for the rally downtown demanding justice for the shooting death of a Florida teenager by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman.

The shooting may have happened states away, but it has captured the attention of the nation and has drawn parallels to the killing of Emmett Till by a group of white men in the south in 1955.

"Everyone is making comparisons to Emmett Till and 50 years ago," said Gil Zamora. He described the differences as "one was a lynching and one was a gun."

Speakers and participants at the rally organized by the "Occupy Chicago" group called it a case with racial tensions.

Meanwhile, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., and Rainbow-PUSH coalition spokesman Jonathan Jackson echoed the demand for justice and called for action.

"We cannot become indifferent to this senseless violence," said Rainbow PUSH Coalition spokesman Jonathan Jackson on the shooting death of the Florida teen by a neighborhood watchman. “If everybody does something we can fix this problem.”

Jackson was joined by his father Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., and Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. on Saturday at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition headquarters to decry the killing of Martin and called for an end to the “Stand Your Ground” state laws that allow citizens who are not police officers to shoot others whom they deem a threat.

“We need a uniform law in the U.S. to keep wannabe cops from standing their ground – to eliminate the ‘Stand Your Ground’ wannabe cop statutes in America," said U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. "The state system is wrong and its unfair.”

However, the lawyer for Zimmerman says that the "Stand Your Ground" law does not apply to this shooting because it was self-defense, according to an MSNBC report.

Hundreds who gathered in Chicago's Millennium Park Friday night in a rally cry for justice shared the same sentiments.

"We're really saddened that after 57, 58 years from Emmett's death this is still going on, that there are such injustices that are still occurring," said Till's cousin, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, who was among Friday's protesters.

Even President Barack Obama weighed in on the topic from Washington, D.C., saying if he had a son; the boy would probably look like Martin.

Earlier this week, students at Chicago State University joined in a Million Hoodie March, one of several across the country, in protest of Martin's death.

Martin was shot after going to a nearby store for Skittles and tea, his parents and police said. The watchman who admits to shooting Martin, George Zimmerman, has not been charged.

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