Protesters say justice was not served; 100-city 'Justice for Trayvon' rallies
POSTED: Saturday, July 20, 2013 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 10:23am
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — In more than 100 cities across the nation, people came together for the "100-city Justice for Trayvon" rallies Saturday at noon, and Baton Rouge was one of those cities that took part.
People said they're outraged, after George Zimmerman was found not guilty for the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin a week ago.
John Gaines knows Trayvon Martin's story too well.
"I was outraged. I felt sad for the Martin family," Gaines said. "I'm here to support the organization to support this movement for Trayvon Martin because clearly this could have been anyone's child."
Gaines said he has seen situations like this more than he would like, and he knows this firsthand.
"It hits home to me because on May 30th of last year, I lost six of my family members along with a family friend coming from church to a drunk driver," Gaines said.
Gaines along with hundreds of protesters came out to rally for justice. Gaines said he just wants fairness in the judicial system.
"Most of all, it needs to bring awareness as a collective, not just to black people, but to all races of people to understand that there is a disparity in the judicial system in America," Gaines said.
Raymond Brown, the president of the National Action Network, agreed.
"It's very important to me because I'm a civil rights activist and I have children. I just feel that what happened, shouldn't have happened. He was wrong. It was a grave injustice."
However, Leonard Lions said he came out for a different reason.
"I believe that Trayvon Martin did receive justice, and George Zimmerman got a good trial, and he was found innocent of his peers," Lions said. "I have to trust and believe in that system."
"We have to impose the question... have the roles would have been reversed would it be the same sentencing guidelines?" Gaines questioned. "What If it had it had been a black male killing a white 16-year-old coming from the store with skittles and a drink?"
"It was not a race thing. He was being tried for second-degree murder, and when it comes down to it, he was found not guilty by a jury of his peers," Lions said. "I believe in that system. I have to trust the legal system we have in place in the United States of America."
Right now, the National Action Network is calling on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate to see if civil rights violations were made against Martin.