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Trayvon Martin Candlelight Vigil Planned For Columbia Heights

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WASHINGTON -- As the controversy over the shooting death of a black Florida teenager continues to stir emotions across the nation, a new vigil for Trayvon Martin has been planned for Monday evening in Columbia Heights.

"We'll have a short program with prayers and a moment of silence, as we mourn the loss of Trayvon Martin and stand in solidarity with folks who are at vigils around the country," according to a Facebook event page promoting the gathering.

George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., told police that he had shot the 17-year-old in self-defense in late February. But Martin was unarmed, only carrying a bag of Skittles and a bottle of ice tea walking back from a convenience store to his father's fianceé's house.

Zimmerman, a native of Northern Virginia, has not been arrested or charged in Martin's death. The Sanford Police Department said at the time of Martin's death that there was not enough evidence to refute Zimmerman's self-defense claim. Florida has a Stand Your Ground law, which allows residents to use deadly force against an attacker if they think their life is threatened.

Martin's death and Zimmerman's actions are being probed by a local grand jury and by the Justice Department.

On Saturday, a rally for justice packed Pennsylvania Avenue between Freedom Plaza and the John A. Wilson Building downtown. Other local vigils and rallies were held at Howard University, Capitol Hill and Anacostia last week.

Monday's vigil is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at the fountain at the corner of 14th Street NW and Park Road.

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