27 days ago George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, shot and killed, the unarmed, 17 year old Trayvon Martin. Trayvon was returning to a gated Sanford community in the city after buying candy at a convenience store. He was unarmed and was wearing a hoodie. Zimmerman called 911 and was told by the dispatcher that he shouldn't follow the youth. He followed anyway and shot Trayvon in the chest, killing him with his 9mm pistol. Zimmerman has said the teen attacked him and he shot him in self-defense. Trayvon was unarmed, only carrying Skittles and iced tea. A witness heard someone yelling for help. A shot followed and the yelling stopped. Trayvon was on the phone with a girl from Miami as he was being followed, the girl stated Martin said, “I think this dude is following me,” and then ran to get away from him. She said she heard Martin ask Zimmerman why he was being followed, and shortly afterwards the called ended. When she tried to call him back, there was no answer. Zimmerman has not been charged with any crime.
The day before the Rally, City commissioners voted "No Confidence" in police chief Bill Lee who did not arrest Zimmerman. The police chief said that he is temporarily leaving his job to let passions cool.
Reverand Al Sharpton came to Fort Mellon Park in Sanford to address the crowd. His mother had died that morning. He said, "My mother raised me to stand up and fight. She would have been ashamed of me if I wasn't here tonight. This mother has to bury her son. Mothers are not supposed to bury their sons. We love our children. We may not have as much as others, but we have each other!" The estimated crowd of 8,000 people cheered.
He continued, “Some people said to me in the media — ‘Let me get this straight,’ they said. ‘Reverend, it seems like there’s a lot of people who are angry — are you afraid of violence?’” Sharpton preached to the Central Floridian crowd. “I said, ‘No. I’m afraid of the violence you already had.’”
“Violence is killing Tray Martin,” Sharpton continued. “Don’t act like we are the ones [who are] violent. We didn’t shoot nobody.” Al began a loud chant that swept through the crowd, yelling "No Justice!" The crowd responded "No Peace!" The chant continued, growing louder as more people joined in. "Enough is enough!" he shouted. Zimmerman should have been arrested that night!"