A community marched through a soggy chill in southeast Queens calling for justice in the Trayvon Martin case Saturday.
Protesters numbered in the hundreds as elected officials and furious residents stood in solidarity with the black Florida teen who was killed by a man claiming self-defense.
The man, George Zimmerman, has not been charged.
“It’s painful to see every attempt being made to deny justice,” said City Councilman James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton). “You see this case and it seems that there are two systems of justice and that can’t be. If there is going to be one America, there has to be one system of justice. And that system has to be fair to everyone.”
Sanders was one of many elected officials and community leaders to join the march, which stretched four blocks and gained supporters as it traversed Linden Boulevard in Cambria Heights on its way to St. Albans Park on Merrick Boulevard. On their way to the park, parents and children alike wore hoodies as Martin did the day he was killed.
Protesters chanted Martin’s name as well as “no justice, no peace” and “an injury to one is an injury to all ” as residents cheered from windows and storefronts.
Zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood watchman, shot the 17-year-old Martin, who was wearing a hoodie and carrying a packet of Skittles.
City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) said the shooter should not have taken the law into his own hands.
“What happened to Trayvon was that he was assaulted by someone that claimed to be an authority and was using a cloak of authority to murder someone,” said Comrie. “We are here today because we want to make sure that we do everything we can to honor our young people, inform them and protect them.”
The March for Justice, organized by the Commission on Social Justice and Human Concerns, an African-American Christian organization, drew citizens from across the borough who vented their frustration with the way in which the Martin case has been handled by Florida authorities.
Arlene Phipps, of Far Rockaway, said she would not know what she would do if she lost her only son, Yaseen Madyun, to a violent act.
“I don’t know how I would handle that,” she said. “It was a senseless murder and nothing has been done about it. I believe in my heart that everyone out here today is tired and afraid — this is our chance to come together and show as a people that we want this to stop.”
Her son said that young people also need to take some responsibility by coming together and showing society that they should not be feared.
“This has to stop. We can’t keep living like this,” Madyun said. “If you want to make a change, you have to first start in your heart.”
Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.
©2012 Community News Group
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