NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Prior to a rally outside NYPD Headquarters on Saturday, the mother of Trayvon Martin said she is proud of her son, and that she will work to maintain a foundation in his name to help “other victims of senseless guns violence.”
Sybrina Fulton was joined by Al Sharpton, Jay Z and Beyonce at National Action Network.
More Photos: ‘Justice For Trayvon’ Rally Outside NYPD HQ
As 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported, Fulton, along with Sharpton and hundreds of supporters, then headed to One Police Plaza for the rally.
“They need to change the laws that we all know need changing, because they don’t work for us.” Fulton said.
She told the crowd of supporters at National Action Network that she has moved on from the verdict and is ready to start a new chapter.
Her son, Fulton said, may not have been perfect — but he was no burglar.
“I am still the proud mother of Trayvon Martin,” she said.
Similar rallies are taking place across the country on Saturday.
Sharpton said the next step is a major march next month in Washington, D.C., WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported.
The rally comes one day after President Obama weighed in in on the acquittal of George Zimmerman in Florida last weekend, CBS 2’s Janelle Burell reported.
“We are deeply honored and moved that President Obama took the time to speak publicly and at length about our son, Trayvon,” the family said. “The President’s comments give us great strength at this time.”
New Yorkers attended the rally to witness history and to voice their concerns about the dangers facing young people. One Queens teenager was still trying to come to grips with the fact that his mother has to tell him to ‘be extra careful’.
“I have to fear for my life everyday,” he told CBS 2’s Steve Langford.
Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, is set to be at a similar event at a federal courthouse in Miami.
Sharpton’s National Action Network is planning rallies in 100 cities to press for federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.
The Justice Department is investigating whether Zimmerman violated Martin’s civil rights when he shot the 17-year-old during a confrontation last year in Sanford, Fla.
Zimmerman says he fired in self-defense. He was acquitted last Saturday of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. On Saturday his attorney released a statement addressing the President’s comments and the frustration that many people across the country have expressed over the verdict:
“While we acknowledge and understand the racial context of this case, we challenge people to look closely and dispassionately at the facts. We believe those who look at the facts of the case without prejudice will see that it is a clear case of self-defense, and we are certain that those who take a closer look at the kind of person George Zimmerman is — something we understand the Department of Justice is currently doing — we are confident they will find a young man with a diverse ethnic and racial background who is not a racist, a man who is, in fact, sensitive to the complex racial history of our country.
It takes courage to talk about race. It took courage for our President to address the Zimmerman Case and candidly discuss how and why people are upset by the verdict. We would like to stress that the verdict was reached fairly and justly and that it reflects the letter of the law and represents the law’s proper application to the facts. While we acknowledge the racial context of the case, we hope that the President was not suggesting that this case fits a pattern of racial disparity, because we strongly contend that it does not.”
Attorney General Eric Holder announced this week that his department would investigate whether Zimmerman could be charged under federal civil rights laws. Such a case would require evidence that Zimmerman harbored racial animosity against Martin. Most legal experts say that would be a difficult charge to bring. Zimmerman’s lawyers have said their client wasn’t driven by race, but by desire to protect his neighborhood.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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