The streets of New York have flooded again, but Hurricane Sandy is nowhere to be seen when I look out my window.
On Saturday, July 13, a year and a half after the untimely death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed him, was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter. The public, whose outcry was immense after the original incident in February 2012 (a Change.com petition from Martin’s family asking for Zimmerman to be prosecuted garnered over 250,000 signatures in the first few days), had an even fiercer response after the verdict was read.
My jaw dropped when I realized that the chanting and shouting wasn’t coming from my TV, but from outside my window. It essentially hit the floor when my eyes took in the thousands of people flooding the streets of New York City, fighting for Trayvon Martin and the shocking verdict made just 24 hours before.
Among the shouts heard while I walked among the protesters, a few heard were, “We are Trayvon Martin!”, “Justice for Trayvon Martin!”, “What do we want?” “Justice!” “When do we want it?” “Now!”and “They can’t shut us up! NYPD got to go!” Many protesters and marchers carried black balloons, in mourning for Trayvon Martin, and others carried signs with varied messages, from Malcom X quotes to “RACISM KILLS.”
This isn’t the first march to take NYC by storm in honor of young Trayvon Martin and in hopes to bring attention to the injustice that occurred to him. On March 21, almost a month after Trayvon was shot by Zimmerman, hundreds of people took to the streets in a protest named the “Million Hoodie March,” named so because of the assertion by Zimmerman that Trayvon looked “suspicious” in his hooded sweatshirt.
Outrage came from innumerable sides of the spectrum, but primarily, from those searching for answers for why someone would attack a 17-year-old and wondering if they could still trust in the US’s judicial system.
It would be impossible for me to attempt to describe what it’s like to be in a flood like this without using one of the worst cliches, but in this situation, it can be used to most accurately describe what it was like in the march: emotions ran high.
I would love to hear your thoughts and opinion on this controversial case – whether by comments below or by email, let me know how you’ve been affected by this case and whether you agree with the decision made or not, and why.
What are your thoughts on the Trayvon Martin case? Do you believe our judicial system is trustworthy? If not, what do you think is the best way to fight back against a verdict you don’t agree with? If so, what do you think needs to change in order for others to trust in the system again too? Do you think the jury made the right call?
For longer videos with audio of the crowd and the chants, visit my Twitter for my Vine videos.