Kendrick Mickel Jr.’s sense of safety and security can perhaps be best summed up by the sign next to him.
“I heard the verdict and it was not right,” the 16-year-old East High School junior said, referring to the July 13 acquittal of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.
Holding a sign that read “I’m a black teenager walking, don’t shoot!”, Mickel was one of more than 300 children, teens and adults who attended Saturday’s “Justice for Trayvon” rally outside Mahoning County Courthouse, downtown.
Several attendees carried signs with sayings such as, “No justice, no peace.” Attached to some were packages of Skittles candies and iced-tea bottles, both of which Martin had as he walked through the gated community before Zimmerman shot the unarmed teen and claimed self-defense.
The 90-minute gathering was to call attention to what many people see as a gross miscarriage of justice regarding the six-woman jury’s verdict, while calling for federal charges of murder or civil-rights violations against Zimmerman.
Themed “It’s not a moment, it’s a movement,” the peaceful rally also demanded the repeal of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, which expands the legal threshold allowing people to use deadly force for self-defense if they feel confronted with imminent danger. Nearly two dozen states have enacted such legislation.
For the complete local story, read Sunday's Vindicator or Vindy.com.