Some fear precedent for vigilantes
A crowd of over 100 marched Sunday from Washington Square Park to Jackson Square in protest of Saturday’s acquittal of George Zimmerman in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
“I was angry, speechless and scared,” said Jenna Mae, 29, about how she felt when she heard the verdict. “I think it sets a precedent for vigilantes to take the law in their own hands and face no justice.”
Participants wore hooded sweatshirts, like the one Martin was wearing at the time of his death, and held signs that read, “I am Trayvon Martin” and “Justice delayed and denied.”
Zimmerman shot Martin in Sanford, Fla., in February and was charged with second-degree murder almost a month later.
He claimed he was acting in self-defense, and the case became a catalyst for a national discussion on issues of race and civil rights.
Mwende Katwiwa, 21, a student at Tulane who is from Kenya, said Zimmerman’s acquittal was an indictment of the U.S. justice system.
“Zimmerman wasn’t on trial, the American system was on trial, and since he’s been found not guilty, the system of racism will be allowed to continue,” she said.
Katwiwa, who held a sign that read, “I’m afraid to have a son,” was one of many participants who lined up to speak in front of the crowd at Jackson Square.
Protesters said the march was organized via Facebook and other forms of social media.
According to Matt Freiumth, 22, a group of “seasoned organizers” from groups such as The Orleans Parish Reform Coalition and Voice of The Ex -Offenders helped put the protest together.