Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, were joined by actor Jamie Foxx and a crowd of about 200 people on Tuesday evening in Union Square Park. They lit candles and held a moment of silence at 7:17 p.m., the time Martin was fatally shot on Feb. 26, 2012.
“I’m the mother of two boys,” Fulton said. “I have one son on Earth and one son in heaven.”
He has claimed he was acting in self-defense after Martin pursued and attacked him.
The shooting set off a national outcry over issues of race as well as stand-your-ground laws and made the hooded sweatshirt a symbol of protest.
Martin was unarmed and wearing a hoodie when he was shot in the gated community of Sanford. He was returning home from the store after buying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea.
Civil rights leaders said that if Martin had been white, Zimmerman, whose father is white and whose mother is Hispanic, would have been arrested immediately instead of weeks later.
At the vigil, the crowd members were told “Hoods up!” and were asked to put up their hooded sweatshirts, which have become symbols of the outrage over Martin’s death.
“This day, until the day I die, will always be Hoods Up Day for me,” Tracy Martin said.
Foxx told the crowd that when he met Fulton after her son’s death, it made him think about something happening to his own teenage daughter.
“I just started to think: What would I feel like if she wasn’t there with me?” he said.
Last year, protesters held a ”Million Hoodie March” in Union Square to stand against stereotypes of black men who wear hooded sweatshirts. Similar rallies followed in several communities across the Tri-State Area.
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