Published: 23 March, 2012, 22:27
Freddie Muse holds a sign at a rally to call for justice in the murder of Trayvon Martin at Leimert Park in Los Angeles, California, March 22, 2012 (Reuters / Jonathan Alcorn)
Following the “temporary resignation” of Sanford Police Chief Billy Lee on Thursday afternoon, more than 25,000 protesters gathered in Fort Mellon Park later that evening.
The massive crowd came together to show solidarity for Trayvon Martin and his family. People held signs which read, “I am Trayvon” and “NAACP says…enough is enough,” in the hope of bringing George Zimmerman to justice.
The enormous gathering caught the attention of President Obama. On Friday Obama addressed the tragic shooting for the first time and called the occurrence a “tragedy.”
“I can only imagine what these parents are going through,” said the president.
“Every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this. If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened,” Obama added.
A view of a memorial dedicated to Trayvon Martin near the site where he was killed in front of The Retreat at Twin Lakes community in Sanford, Florida March 22, 2012 (Reuters / Octavian Cantilli)
New details revealed could have set the stage for the confrontation between the 17-year-old Martin and Zimmerman.
According to many of the homeowners who live at the upscale Retreat at Twin Lakes subdivision where Martin was shot to death, a string of burglaries in the area may have been to blame for the tragic incident.
According to some of the residents, “a gang of young black men,” were seen hanging around the area during a series of robberies and vandalism cases which occurred last year. Unfortunately many feel Martin was “stereotyped” into the role.
“I was told by a neighbor of ours last year that the men causing our problems were black,” said Jackie Mathews to The Daily Beast.
Demonstrators gather to call for justice in the murder of Trayvon Martin at Leimert Park in Los Angeles, March 22, 2012 (Reuters / Jonathan Alcorn)
Mathews who lives in the complex added that her neighbors told her to “avoid young blackmen at all times and to call the police” if she saw a group of them in the complex.
The case which has now gained international attention has left many unanswered questions.
Many question how Martin was supposed to know about the crime spree of which Sanford PD received nearly 15 reports the year before the confrontation, and claim he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Still Zimmerman’s actions have caused outrage in the black community, especially after allegations of the shooter muttering “fucking coon” in his 911 call to law enforcement.
Family members of the teen have spoken out about the allegations of Zimmerman’s alleged racism.
“How could anyone look at that baby’s face and think he was a criminal? How could they just see him as black, and not as somebody’s child,” said Marion Evans, Trayvon’s grandmother to the media.
The recent reports which surfaced of the self-appointed neighborhood watch leader’s racial slur have many calling the alleged act of “self-defense” a hate crime and carries no merit for shooting a black teen that was carrying skittles and tea while wearing a hoodie.
A man kneels as he prays during a public rally to honor the memory of Trayvon Martin, at Fort Mellon Park in Sanford, Florida March 22, 2012 (Reuters / Octavian Cantilli)