"Justice for Trayvon" rally held at Beaumont federal courthouse

It's been one week since a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, but the sense of injustice that many felt after the verdict is still being felt across the United States, including Southeast Texas.

Close to 50 people gathered on the steps of the federal courthouse in downtown Beaumont Saturday afternoon to pray for Martin. One woman held a sign reading "Justice 4 Trayvon". Several wore hoodies to reflect what Martin was wearing the night he was killed.

"There would be no Zimmerman case had Trayvon not been profiled," Beaumont City Councilman Audwin Samuel told 12News. Samuel attended the rally and spoke to the crowd, expressing concerns about civil rights, race, and the justice system.

"I support people coming together to address the concerns of injustice anywhere, because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," Samuel said.
     
James Yarbrough Jr. organized the rally. He lives in Beaumont and has a 13 year old son, and says he's worried about the racial profiling his son may face.

"When he hits 17, I don't feel like going to a funeral," Yarbrough said. "It's no joke that black men are targeted."

Many argue the Zimmerman case was more about self defense than race, but the group of people at the courthouse doesn't see it that way.

"Nobody can tell me this wasn't a race issue," said one of the protesters.

The protest was a peaceful one, and Councilman Samuel said its main purpose was to inspire others to come together, and simply talk about the issues.

 


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