Hundreds Rally in KC at Trayvon Martin Protest

(photo: Tony’s Kansas City. KC Mayor Sly James at Trayvon Martin Plaza rally)
KC Star:
Here and in cities across the country, crowds gathered Monday to mourn and rally for the 17-year-old high school student Trayvon Martin who was shot and killed a month ago by a neighborhood watch volunteer.
George Zimmerman, 28, says Martin attacked him. The teen’s parents and supporters accuse Zimmerman of racial profiling and shooting an unarmed youth returning to the home of his father’s girlfriend.
“We shouldn’t have to be out here,” said Virginia Alder of Lee’s Summit, one of those who gathered Monday at the J.C. Nichols Fountain near the Country Club Plaza. “We shouldn’t have to rally and get angry. This was about the color of Trayvon’s skin and this thing shouldn’t have gotten this far.”

Martin was black. Zimmerman is the son of a white father and Hispanic mother.
At rallies in Kansas City and elsewhere, people expressed anger and sadness, but perhaps the biggest emotion was disbelief.
People said they have a hard time understanding how Zimmerman could go against police instructions to stand down, then encounter the teen and shoot him.
“You raise your children to be honorable and academically driven and then someone just comes along and kills him,” Artesha Gladney said at the Plaza rally. “Well, I’m here to let the world know it’s not OK to do that to anyone’s kid.”
Keveion Robinson, 18, of south Kansas City, sat nearby in his hoodie with a bag of Skittles.
“You should be able to walk anywhere in this country without anybody following you because they think you’re doing something wrong,” Robinson said. “I’m grieving for his family.”
Zimmerman not being arrested has frustrated many.
“We are trapped between hopelessness and obligation,” Derecka Purnell, one of the organizers of the Kansas City rally, told the crowd.
“How can this happen and nothing be done?”
The political science major at the University of Missouri-Kansas City said if it can happen in Florida, it can happen here.
“We don’t want to wait until a child dies here before we realize KC has a problem,” Purnell said.
For the most part, the Plaza rally was about solidarity and peace.
The first mention of Zimmerman’s name brought only a single boo from the crowd.
Mayor Sly James pushed for racial harmony by having everyone grab somebody’s hand, preferable from another race.
“See, it’s about the same temperature and has the same number of fingers,” James said.
As Dave Winters, a retired Presbyterian pastor, arrived, he pulled on a blue hoodie and surveyed the crowd.
“We saw an incredible tragedy in Florida and it’s important that we get a diverse showing here today,” Winters said.
Then he smiled.
“Particularly with all the hoodies. We can all look suspicious together.”

One Response

  1. I think more effort by is required, by youth leader and the parent’s in KC, we need to shine a light on this problem that is in every city. I am originally from KC, but live in Las Vegas, the rally here was impressive, but we have to keep pushing foward with this….

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