SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Scores of supporters showed up at William Land Park in Sacramento Thursday afternoon wearing their hoodies in support of Trayvon Martin, one of several events in the region honoring the slain Florida teenager.
The 17-year-old high school student was shot and killed by a self-appointed Neighborhood Watch captain named George Zimmerman in late February.
“It starts with us teenagers first. Because we’re mad at zimmerman for killing him, but we still got black youth killing each other and it’s just not right,” said Angel, who spoke at the rally.
“And we need to lead the example for everyone… Together before tragedy hits like this,” said Rod Bryant, who participated in the rally.
“If it happened to me, I would want someone to stand up for me as well, and doing the same thing and rally for my son,” Jennifer Dossman said on Wednesday.
For that reason, Dossman has helped organize a rally called “1,000 Hoodies 4 Justice.”
Martin was unarmed, wearing a hoodie and carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea when Zimmerman spotted him and called police to report him as being suspicious. Zimmerman has not been arrested and told police he acted in self-defense when Martin attacked him, knocking him to the ground.
“Things like this happen in Sacramento all the time,” Dossman said. “It happens all across the world, and we all need to stick together to ensure that this doesn’t happen anywhere.”
At the state Capitol, lawmakers also showed their support by wearing hoodies on Thursday.
“The tragedy of a young man’s untimely and unfair death is being compounded each day by the hateful and hurtful comments of those seeking to deflect blame from the neighborhood vigilante who killed him, and by the failure of law enforcement officials to seek justice for his murder,” said state Senator Curren D. Price in a press release Thursday after he and his colleagues wore hoodies at the end of the legislative session.
“It’s an outrage that a young man with a hoodie and some Skittles could be determined to be worthy of capital punishment in the United States in 2012,” state Senator Roderick Wright said. “Trayvon Martin was killed because George Zimmerman assumed a black teen walking in his neighborhood must be up to no good and took it upon himself to serve as judge, jury and executioner.”
Another Assembly member compared it to the Civil War era.
“Why in America almost 150 years after slavery is an African-American life not valued the same as its white counterpart,” Steve Bradford said.
There was also a rally at noon at Grant High School and at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, and an afternoon rally at Stockton’s Martin Luther King Park.
The Del Paso Heights rally was organized by two high school students who were upset with what had happened in Sanford, Florida, and told CBS13 they wanted to bring attention to the case.
“We just want to bring awareness to the community because of lot of things happen like this and they go unnoticed,” rally organizer Crystal Delgado said.
“My brother always wears a hoodie and he’s been pulled over more than once because of his hoodie,” added the other organizer, Haley Davis.
Victor Hermann brought his two young children to the rally to teach them a lesson early in life, that racism still exists, he said.
“The guy (Zimmerman) should really be arrested,” he said. “He shouldn’t have the right to take the law into his own hands.”
Wednesday on Capitol Hill in Washington, a representative from Illinois was reprimanded for wearing a hoodie on the floor.