It’s been two months since his death, but the drama surrounding Trayvon Martin is nowhere near over. As the courtroom battle is preparing to ramp up, the teenager, who was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, is still widely discussed in U.S. news outlets. On Thursday, celebrities, civil rights activists and Martin’s relatives all assembled to mark the two-month anniversary at a church in Los Angeles, California.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune has more about the rally, which was also held in honor of another young life that was more recently lost:
Hundreds gathered Thursday night for a rally honoring slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin and Citrus College student Kendrec McDade, who was fatally shot by Pasadena police officers in March. [...]
McDade, 19, a former Azusa High School football player, died March 24 when officers responded to an armed robbery call, although police later determined that McDade was unarmed. McDade’s family has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city.
McDade family attorney Caree Harper said she will continue to ask the police for more information about McDade’s shooting.
As he has been since the beginning of the case, the Rev. Al Sharpton was heavily involved in the event at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ. The fiery civil rights leader relied, at least at moments, on the racially-divisive language he has used throughout the ordeal.
“There are Trayvons all over this country,” Sharpton said, according to the Associated Press. “What kind of world are we living in that we can put a black man in the White House, but a black man can’t walk through a gated community?”
Sharpton also railed against the inequality he believes resulted in both Martin’s and McDade’s deaths.
“Tonight is about you committing to be in it for the long haul. This is not about coming out and watching a rally,” he said. “This is about making a permanent movement until we change the laws and the structure and the inequality and the unfairness and the disproportionate distribution of justice.”
Sharpton, The Christian Post reports, was joined by the Rev. Jessie Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Magic Johnson and Paul Rodriguez, among others. The star-studded rally was put on by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Pantagraph.com continues, highlighting the financial assistance the event brought to Martin’s family:
Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton thanked the crowd, which donated thousands of dollars in cash and checks, to a foundation in her son’s name in a collection led by Sharpton, who contributed $500 himself.
“Be encouraged, I am encouraged. I believe justice will be served,” said Fulton.
Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, added that he made a vow to his son that he would not let Trayvon’s life be taken in vain.
While the event urged peaceful protest, it encouraged those in attendance to get involved in helping to heal the social ills that purportedly led to the aforementioned deaths.
(H/T: The Christian Post)