HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Officials in one Long Island community are planning a rally in support of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager killed last month by a neighborhood watch captain in Florida.
Many have called for the arrest of the shooter, 28-year-old George Zimmerman, saying the man would have been arrested had he been black and the victim white.
Zimmerman claimed he acted in self-defense after Martin pursued and attacked him. Zimmerman has not been charged.
Hempstead Mayor Wayne Hall, members of the village board of trustees and a local county legislator are expected to attend Saturday’s 1 p.m. rally in the parking lot outside Hempstead Village Hall.
Many of the speakers and attendees are expected to wear hooded sweat shirts to protest what they describe as racial stereotypes that have been used to justify the shooting.
On Wednesday, members of the New York City council gathered on the steps of City Hall Wednesday, with hoods up. They also carried bags of Skittles and cans of iced tea, as the unarmed 17-year-old was when he was shot dead.
Last week, a ”Million Hoodie March” was held in Union Square. Those at the rally, which included Occupy Wall Street protesters, said they were standing against stereotypes of black men who wear hooded sweatshirts.
Martin was walking to his Sanford home on Feb. 26 when he ran into Zimmerman, who called 911 to report a suspicious person.
“This guy looks like he is up to no good. He is on drugs or something,” Zimmerman told the dispatcher from his sport utility vehicle. He added that the teen had his hand in his waistband and was walking around looking at homes.
A dispatcher told Zimmerman to stay in his sport utility vehicle and that an officer would be there momentarily. Zimmerman, for unknown reasons, got out.
Zimmerman told police he lost sight of the teenager and was walking back to his sport utility vehicle when he was attacked. He and Martin fought, according to witnesses. Zimmerman said Martin punched him in the nose and slammed his head against the ground.
At some point, Zimmerman pulled a gun and shot Martin.
Police said Zimmerman was bleeding from his nose and the back of his head. He told police he had yelled out for help before he shot Martin.
The victim’s family believes Martin was “murdered” because of his race.
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