‘Justice for Trayvon’ rallies in 100 cities across USA

Thousands gathered Saturday at rallies in more than 100 cities nationwide to remember Trayvon Martin, to press for federal civil rights charges against the man who shot him, and to attack stand-your-ground self-defense laws.

George Zimmerman’s acquittal a week ago on all charges in the shooting death of the unarmed black teen touched off protests across the nation. The Justice Department is investigating whether Zimmerman violated Martin’s civil rights when he shot the 17-year-old during a February 2012 confrontation in Sanford, Fla.

In New York, the Rev. Al Sharpton took aim at stand-your-ground laws in more than a dozen states that generally give people wide latitude to use deadly force if they fear serious bodily harm. “We are trying to change laws so that this never, ever happens again,” Sharpton, who organized the rallies through his National Action Network, told the crowd in New York.

Zimmerman’s lawyers had considered the controversial stand-you-ground defense, but opted instead for a more traditional self-defense argument.

Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, spoke at the New York rally. “Today it was my son. Tomorrow it might be yours,” she warned the crowd. Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin echoed those sentiments at a rally in Miami: “This could be any one of our children,” he said. “Our mission now is to make sure that this doesn’t happen to your child.”

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