The parents of Trayvon Martin joined hundreds of people in a Los Angeles church Thursday to mark the two-month anniversary since the black teenager was shot dead by a neighborhood watchman.
Parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin joined the Reverend Al Sharpton and community leaders for a packed rally at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in honor of the 17-year-old, whose killing sparked widespread outrage.
"We've got so far to go, but they are steadfast and leaning on their faith in God to get justice for their son," Benjamin Crump, attorney for the Martin family, told local television news.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) said the rally was intended to "advocate for crime victims... educate young people on conflict resolution techniques [and] increase public awareness against all forms of profiling."
On February 26, volunteer neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, 28, shot and killed Martin -- who was unarmed and had no criminal record -- in an altercation in a gated community in Sanford, Florida.
Martin was wearing a hooded sweatshirt as he walked in the rain to his father's house after buying candy at a nearby store when Zimmerman called police and began following him against their advice, apparently believing Martin was linked to a recent spate of robberies.
Zimmerman maintains he was acting in self-defense after Martin knocked him to the ground and began slamming his head against the sidewalk.
Martin's family and supporters suspect Zimmerman targeted him in an incident of racial profiling and spent weeks demanding that police arrest him.
The case ignited a national debate over race and Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows armed individuals to open fire if they believe their lives are in danger, even if retreat is an option.
Zimmerman was not arrested until well after the controversy erupted, on April 11, when prosecutors charged him with second degree murder.
On Monday Zimmerman, who is half white and half Hispanic, was released on bail and went from jail to an undisclosed location. He is scheduled to be arraigned in a Sanford court on May 8 and has pleaded not guilty.
Source: AFP American Edition