March held against George Zimmerman verdict: Some calling for boycott of Florida

Zimmerman acquitted in Trayvon Martin's death

SAN DIEGO - A large crowd marched in downtown San Diego Thursday afternoon as part of a protest against the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.

The group of about 50 protesters held posters and marched in response to Zimmerman's acquittal. Some chanted, "I am Trayvon!"

"He represents everybody. He represents all of our kids. If he gets away with it, then the next man will. We want justice for all of our kids," said marcher James Wiley of El Cajon.

The march started at the San Diego Convention Center, went up 5th Avenue and ended up at San Diego City College. Organizers said they had one powerful message to send.

"To get our voice heard and let the criminal justice system know that we need justice. It [doesn't] matter about what color you are; it's about right and wrong," said march organizer Charles Lott.

Wiley said he'll march again.

"We're just marching until we get tired; we have to keep on marching," he said.

Earlier in the day, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) held a press conference regarding the not guilty verdict. Zimmerman had been accused in the fatal shooting of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Weber said that California's Legislative Black Caucus is urging a boycott of Florida because of Zimmerman's acquittal.

Speaking in front of the San Diego Hall of Justice Thursday morning, backed by signs saying "Justice for Trayvon Martin," Weber said black caucus members want to send a message to the state of Florida.

"We can see a nationwide boycott of Florida as a reasonable reaction to the injustice we feel as Americans, when an innocent teen on his way home is trailed, apprehended and gunned down by an armed security guard in a housing development -- and then found by a trial jury to be not guilty of second-degree murder," Weber said.

"It should be a long time before any of us ever feel remotely comfortable considering Florida as a destination for business or pleasure," Weber said.

The assemblywoman said she has been contacting black organizations that had plans to meet in Florida over the next year and asking them to withdraw.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People met this week in Orlando, about 30 miles from Sanford, Fla., where Martin was killed.

Zimmerman followed the youngster as Martin walked toward a residence in the development on Feb. 26, 2012, and shot him during a physical struggle.

The incident ignited debate over racism, vigilantism, self-defense and a "stand your ground" law in Florida that was harshly criticized by speakers at Weber's news conference.

Martin's parents are considering filing a civil lawsuit against Zimmerman, and the U.S. Justice Department is looking into possible civil rights violations.

Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, said it was important to focus on the future.

"How do we prevent more senseless gun violence?" Atkins asked. "How do we challenge unjust laws? How do we ensure that equality isn't just an ideal in our society, but an actual daily practice?"


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