- Valdosta, Ga. - March 22, 2012 -
The controversy over the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, FL has spurred protests across the country including in Valdosta.
Outside the Old Courthouse downtown, protesters waved fists and umbrellas. The rain in Valdosta wasn't nearly enough to damper their outrage.
"Not since then have I seen that kind of interest in one single case as I have this one and I'm sure you will agree," Reverend Floyd Rose announced from the podium.
Several protesters wore hooded sweat shirts, held boxes of Skittles and cans of iced tea. That's what Trayvon Martin was wearing and carrying the night he was killed. Protesters ask if these items make them appear suspicious as well.
"That this was not just a Civil Rights violation. This was a human rights violation. That young man was a human," concerned resident J.C. Cunningham told Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg.
"That this community and every community in this country will continue to press for Mr. Zimmerman's arrest and conviction," Rev. Rose told Gullberg.
The news that Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee temporarily stepped down sparked new life into the rally.
"We all know that he botched the investigation. He did not even arrest Mr. Zimmerman, which would have been standard practice," said Rev. Rose.
"I think the story is still kind of broad right now, people want to know what's happened. So I'm actually happy about the crowd that came out today," Valdosta State University NAACP Chapter President DeAndre Jones told Gullberg.
There was a similar gathering in Tallahassee Thursday earlier in the day.