Houstonians rally for slain Florida teen

March 26, 2012 8:13:43 PM PDT
Monday marks one month since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, in a Florida neighborhood. Now, we are getting a new account of what may have happened that night, and if it's true, it could bolster Zimmerman's claim of self defense.

Over the weekend, members of the New Black Panther Party offered a $10,000 bounty for the capture of Zimmerman. They're not alone in their cries for justice for Martin.

Local rallies condemning the death of Martin continued in Houston on Monday. One of them happened around 3pm on the campus of Texas Souther University and was planned by university alumni and city of Houston Councilwoman Wanda Adams.

The rally began with a prayer delivered to a plaza full of students and people who wanted to be a part of a growing movement that stretches from Florida to across the country.

Zimmermann says Martin had beaten him, broke his nose and slammed his head onto concrete so he shot the unarmed teenager in self defense. There were witnesses who said the same, but that doesn't seem to be changing opinion.

"So in essence, Trayvon, even if he did bang him up pretty bad, he too had that right because here's this individual who has not identified himself pursuing him with a weapon. What is he to do?" said Shakira Dennis, TSU student body president.

It is also about a distrust of authority and in this case, how Martin's death has been investigated. It's a month old now and details are just starting to emerge.

"When you look at young folks who see they're coalescing around the idea, and regardless of the race of Mr. Martin, there should have been more of an investigation from the beginning and that the way that the police handled this, this isn't acceptable anymore," said Dr. Anthony Haughton with the TSU sociology department.

The wheels of justice can sometimes move slowly and they can collide with a world of instant information and round-the-clock news cycles. The rallies are a result of that frustration, in the search for the truth.

"At the end of the day, nobody knows what happened. If you weren't there, you don't know what really happened; all you can do is just give your outlook on the situation," one attendee said.

The TSU rally came to an abrupt end because of the heat. One person suffered from heat exhaustion.

Another rally also was held around 5pm at the SHAPE Community Center.

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