Donning hoodies, some Flint college students stood in solidarity with 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman Feb. 26.
"We wanted to support his family and say we are with you in this fight for justice and peace of mind,â?? said LaBreonna Bland, a member of Voices for Women on Campus at University of Michigan-Flint.
Bland gathered the students to take a picture together Thursday evening in a show of support for Martin and his family. Itâ??s a snapshot of the public outrage the teenager's death sparked. Zimmerman was arrested and charged Wednesday, but students say it took too long, and something's wrong with the public justice system.
"I'm talking about, something needs to be done as in within the law system, the justice system, the way things are set up,â?? said Kai Williams.
Zimmerman is expected to plead not guilty, maintaining he was protected under Florida's â??Stand Your Groundâ?? law, which allows a person to use deadly force when there's reasonable belief of a threat. It will be up to the courts now, to decide whether that law is flawed, and if Zimmerman murdered Martin.
But students like Justin Makokha say public movements like theirs got the ball rolling.
"Social media sites and the news and everybody petitioning online has a big effect on what's going on."
Standing on the steps of UM-Flint's McKinnon Plaza, students who might have never otherwise heard of Trayvon Martin took a picture together, declaring, "We are Trayvon Martin."