West Memphians Rally For Trayvon Martin

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(West Memphis, AR) About 50 people walked through Tilden Rogers park in West Memphis Wednesday night, holding signs and calling for justice in the murder of Trayvon Martin, a Florida teen who was gunned down by a man acquitted of the crime because he said he acted in self-defense.

Brittany Williams was one of the people who organized the rally and vigil.

"It started because we didn't know how to react to it. It hurt so bad, because we have children. I have a son. That could have been my son," Williams said.

The group of parents and grandparents said they wanted to send a message to their children that they should not have to fear being the target of racial profiling.

Many people disagree on whether George Zimmerman unfairly targeted Trayvon Martin, or if Martin eventually attacked Zimmerman. Beyond the facts, now the challenge is finding a way to move forward.

Some rally participants called for a civil suit, while some demanded a re-trial.

"See him behind bars, where he needs to be. He doesn't need to be out," said Frazier Thomas.

But Christopher Kinchelow said the focus should be on the 'stand your ground' law, which the Florida jury determined Zimmerman had not violated.

"If anything, laws need to be changed, to prevent this type of thing," Kinchelow said.

Tennessee has a similar law, which allows gun owners to use deadly force if they believe they're in danger of death or serious injury. The threat must occur in areas surrounding your home that are habitually used by your family, a structure on your property with a roof, like a porch or tent, in your residence or vehicle.

Mississippi also has such a law, but includes any place you have a right to be, including work, a movie theatre, a street corner or parking lot.

Arkansas does not have this law.

After the verdict, some feared riots across the country. So far, that has only occurred in Los Angeles.

"We can stand out here, and rally and be peaceful. The riots are to going to help anything," Williams said.

The crowd also related this case to Deaunte Farrow, a 12-year-old boy with a toy gun, shot to death by West Memphis police in 2007.

"We're going to do this for Trayvon, for Deaunte, for all of those unseen and unheard," Williams said.

There will be another event for Trayvon Martin on Friday, July 19, at noon at Brinson's on Madison Avenue in Memphis. Organizers publicize it as a peaceful rally, with performances by local artists and speakers from local churches.

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