Trayvon Martin case sparks march at Saginaw Valley State University
Thu, 29 Mar 2012 03:19:56 GMT —
â??We want justice, we want peace,â?? chanted dozens of students at Saginaw Valley State University, on their march to a nearby 7-Eleven Wednesday.
Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin of Florida was shot to death on his way back from a snack run by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. Zimmerman claimed self-defense, but police video obtained by ABC News Wednesday shows a cuffed Zimmerman without any visible signs of attack. He was questioned but not charged in Martinâ??s death.
Students who participated in the march said it wasnâ??t a protest, but a call to end senseless violence.
"In 2012, it's even more shameful that these occurrences are still taking place," said senior Tanya Smith Goodwin.
Some people argue Zimmerman pulled the trigger because he was intimidated by a hooded black teenager. But Kristian Patterson says it's about more than race, and calls instead for a policy change.
â??I feel like these laws are put in place to protect the people but somehow we end up with a 17-year-old individual dead and a guy out loose - something's not right here," Patterson said, criticizing Floridaâ??s Stand Your Ground Law, which allows a person to use deadly force in self-defense, where there is a reasonable belief of a threat.
Martinâ??s death is striking a chord among local youth, especially in light of the recent violence in Saginaw.
Jasmine Charlton doesn't want her brother roaming the streets at night.
â??My greatest fear - and I actually restricted him from walking - is that someone is gonna think he's a criminal and try to shoot him,â?? she said.
â??No one knows about their neighbors and we have become crime junkies,â?? said Goodwin.
And students say that's not good enough. They hope their calls for justice and peace will be heard beyond the walls of their neighborhood.
â??I want what my previous leaders have fought for so many years and I want to just take that back and take back what's ours and our community."