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Rally honors Trayvon Martin at Florida Capitol

6:09 PM, Jul 16, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Dozens of people rallied Tuesday at the state Capitol in memory of Trayvon Martin and called on Gov. Rick Scott to call a special session focusing on civil rights.

Capitol Police responded to the rally with heavy security as members of the group Dream Defenders filed into the Capitol rotunda to rally.

The protesters carried signs that read, "The State is Ours" and "End Racial Profiling."

They marched into the foyer of Gov. Rick Scott's office and demanded to see him, but he was in New York.

So they hunkered down, sang songs and chanted.

Members of the group called the not guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman an injustice and said it showed the world that Florida does not value the lives of its children.

"This is an opportunity for Governor Rick Scott and the Florida legislature to prove their commitment to the next generation of Floridians," said Ciara Taylor.

Dorothy Inman-Johnson said she believes the verdict creates a dangerous future for children in Florida.

"I have little grandsons that I feel that verdict sent a message here in Florida that it's open season on our children with what happened to Trayvon. People all around the world, not just this country, are watching Florida to see how humane we are and how we treat the people in this state while we preach human rights every place else."

Olujimi Kuti said he wanted to honor Trayvon Martin's memory. He sees the case as another dispiriting example of racial injustice.

"I believe that an injustice has occurred. I'm not here just for Trayvon Martin. I'm here for all black and brown people around the world that have to suffer through injustice time and time again. I think it's ridiculous. You kind of feel that it will happen based on the history of America, but then you hope for the best, only to be let down again."

The Dream Defenders said they were united to make sure Trayvon Martin's death was not in vain.

They want Gov. Scott to call a special session that would focus on creating a "Trayvon Martin Civil Rights Act" for Florida.

Dave Heller

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