Reporting Kai Jackson
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—From coast to coast, protesters call for action in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Kai Jackson has more on the large local protest.
Sanford, Fla. is more than 800 miles from Baltimore but the reaction to what happened has made a national story a local issue.
The streets of downtown Baltimore were flooded with people on Monday. Sky Eye Chopper 13 was overhead as a nationwide protest came to Maryland. They are citizens and activists speaking out about the killing of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin in Florida.
“We can exert pressure on the political forces, we can exert pressure on the system to try and effect social change in Florida,” said protester Rodney Burris.
Many say the change that’s needed is an end to racial profiling. Protesters believe the fact that George Zimmerman shot Martin, who was 17, is endemic of a societal problem that sees young African-American males as criminals.
“I feel like justice should be served, you know? It’s just not right. The boy died for no reason,” said Shannon Elligson.
This rally is one of many happening across the country and activists are trying to get across the point that they believe what happened to Trayvon Martin could happen to anyone—regardless of race—anywhere.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, claims the shooting was self-defense. Regardless, protesters believe Zimmerman should be charged with murder.
“I’m glad that young people are here because they need to understand that their life is of value every day,” said Tessa Hill Aston.
George Zimmerman’s lawyer says his client was only acting in self-defense after Martin hit him and broke his nose.