Hundred Hoodie March for Trayvon Martin in Rockford March 25
Online Staff Report
A Hundred Hoodie March for Trayvon Martin will begin at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 25, at Rockford City Hall, 425 E. State St.
An ad hoc group of citizens is organizing the event to show solidarity with the family of Martin, to promote racial understanding and justice in Rockford, and to build a positive social environment for all residents of the Rockford area.
Trayvon Martin was an African-American teen-ager who was shot and killed in Sanford, Fla., Feb. 26, at the age of 17 by 28-year-old George Zimmerman.
Martin, who was unarmed, had been watching an NBA basketball game on TV at his father’s girlfriend’s house in the gated community of Twin Lakes when he left the home to walk to a nearby 7-Eleven. While returning from the convenience store, Martin was spotted by Zimmerman, who called 9-1-1 at approximately 7 p.m.
In the 9-1-1 call, Zimmerman reported Martin’s “suspicious” behavior, which he described as “just walking around looking about.” The police dispatcher tape recorded Zimmerman as saying, “This guy looks like he is up to no good. He is on drugs or something.”
Zimmerman also told the 9-1-1 dispatcher the person he was observing had his hand in his waistband, was holding something in his other hand, and was walking around slowly in the rain looking at houses.
The dispatcher recommended Zimmerman take no any action, and informed him police were on the way. However, Zimmerman said Martin had fled. The dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was in pursuit, and he said he was. The dispatcher told Zimmerman pursuit was not necessary.
A part of what Zimmerman said on a tape of his conversation with the dispatcher is unclear. Some have heard the disputed words as “f—ing coons,” an ethnic slur used against black people, while others suggest it was “clueless,” “course” or “punks.” Others insist the words are too muffled to make any determination. Police have said they may have missed a potential racial slur on the call.
Upon arrival on the scene, police reported finding Martin face-down and unresponsive, with a gunshot wound in the chest. Statements by police said Zimmerman had grass on his back and his back was wet.
Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose and the back of the head. He claimed self-defense, telling police he had stepped out of his truck to check the name of the street he was on, when Martin attacked him from behind as he walked back to his truck. He said he fired the semiautomatic handgun because he feared for his life. Martin was unarmed, and was carrying a bag of Skittles candy and a can of Arizona brand iced tea.
Zimmerman was not arrested, and witnesses have given conflicting accounts of the shooting. Both Martin and Zimmerman had made phone calls during the incident, some of which were recorded by emergency personnel.
The circumstances around Martin’s death have received international attention, particularly regarding Florida’s self-defense laws and allegations of racial motivations and police misconduct, triggering multiple investigations.
The March 25 Hundred Hoodie March in Rockford will begin at City Hall and march to Founders’ Memorial. At Founders’ Memorial, there will be a 30-minute program with local speakers. After the close of the formal program, an “open mic” will be held for people to share their responses to the killing of Trayvon Martin and related issues in Rockford.
The event is free and open to the public.
All participants are encouraged to wear “hoodies” (i.e., hooded sweatshirts) to show solidarity with Martin.
See the Facebook page “Hundred Hoodie March” for more information as it becomes available.
Posted March 23, 2012
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