Dozens of motorcyclists and motorcycle clubs from Youngstown will join in a national ride of support honoring the memory of a 17-year-old Florida boy gunned down in February.
Trayvon Martin was shot Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., by George Zimmerman, amember of a block watch, who says he was assaulted by the teen and shot in self-defense. The shooting has touched off protests around the country from many who believe the teen was killed with no accountability from Zimmerman.
Bikers from various cities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, South Carolina, North Carolina, New York and California will don hoodies Easter Sunday and ride in support of justice for Martin.
Bikers from the Youngstown-Warren area will meet at the Jokers Wrath Motorcycle Club at Market Street and Princeton Avenue on the South Side at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Participants will leave from the club about 11 a.m. to embark on a two-hour ride in support of the cause.
There is no fee to participate, and organizers say anyone with a motorcycle is welcome.
Participants will meet up with riders from the Pittsburgh, Akron and Cleveland areas at the Jokers Wrath club after the ride. Riders will wear hoodies and take pictures to be sent to the Martin family as a show of support.
Tyla “Six-Two” Smith, Jokers Wrath secretary, said the ride is a way to let the public and authorities on a national level know that people are watching the outcome of the situation.
“The end result here is to raise awareness,” Smith said. “This is our way of showing support and saying that we are not going to let you treat our children any kind of a way. We are not supporting the fact that he was shot; we are supporting justice.”
Vickie “Typsi” Spencer, a member of the Dangerous Curves Motorcycle Club who will participate in the ride, said the event hits home with her and many others for a number of reasons.
“This really got to me because I have a son who is almost his [Trayvon’s] age. I just want to do something positive and show the Martin family some support,” she said. “I want people to understand there needs to be justice in this matter.”
Seeking justice and increasing public awareness is what the ride is about, Smith added.
“A lot of people were touched by this, and there are a lot of people showing support. We just want to go out and do the same thing,” she said.