iOS app Android app More

Trayvon Martin Protests: Dozens Gather In San Francisco And Oakland (VIDEO)

Posted: 03/27/2012 3:17 pm Updated: 03/27/2012 3:39 pm

Trayvon Martin San Francisco

On Monday, dozens gathered at the San Francisco Hall of Justice and Oakland City Hall to protest the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen who was killed in Florida by a neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman.

National outrage over the incident has sparked protests across the country. On Monday, the one-month anniversary of Martin's death, demonstrators called for a "scream out for justice" at national protests, and the Bay Area joined the demonstration.

According to CBS, speakers at Monday's protest in San Francisco called for Zimmerman's immediate arrest.

"We're tired of saying 'no more stolen lives,'" said Mesha Monge-Irizarry, whose son Idriss Stelley was killed by the San Francisco Police in 2001, to the crowd in San Francisco. "Now it's time for action.

In Oakland, the protest hit especially close to home, as accusations of police violence and racial profiling strike a familiar chord.

"This young teenager was gunned down because of how he looked, because of the color of his skin," said Congresswoman Barbara Lee to the Oakland Tribune. "While this issue has shocked American culture, it hasn't shocked me. The combination of the powerful gun lobby, racial profiling and hate crimes make this local matter one of national attention."

On February 26, Zimmerman called 911 to report a suspicious-looking man. In the 911 call, Zimmerman claimed that there had been several recent break-ins in the neighborhood, and expressed concern over Martin's presence. Zimmerman also reported that Martin was wearing a hoodie, a statement that demonstrators say suggested racial profiling. Zimmerman then pursued Martin against the recommendation of the 911 operator. "These assholes, they always get away," he said.

Zimmerman alleged that Martin attacked him, causing Zimmerman to shoot in self-defense. Zimmerman also reported that Martin had something in his hands. However, at the time of the killing, Martin was not holding a weapon, but was instead carrying a bag of Skittles and an Arizona iced tea. In the 911 calls, someone is heard screaming for help before shots were fired. The Martin family alleges that the voice was Trayvon's.

National figures, including the Miami Heat basketball team and President Barack Obama, have spoken out against the incident. The team donned hoodies in solidarity with Martin, while Obama said, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."

Jon Stewart also dedicated a section of "The Daily Show" to the incident, attacking both the national media coverage, and Florida's Stand Your Ground law, which has prevented Zimmerman from being arrested.

Six New York senators also wore hoodies during a legislative session in the Capitol Chambers -- a sign of solidarity with the Martin family, and a symbol of outrage against the law enforcement's history of racial profiling. According to New York magazine, Senator Eric Adams, a former NYPD sergeant, told reporters:

It was born here in New York City and now it has cascaded all the way down to the southern coast of Florida. The stop-and-frisk policy gave birth not only to police officers believing that a person of color is automatically a criminal, now it has grown into the civilian patrol units.

In Florida, Police Chief Bill Lee Jr. temporarily resigned after receiving public scrutiny and a vote of "no confidence" by the city commission over his handling of the case, and the Martin family has expressed outrage that Zimmerman has not been arrested.

"This family wants to have faith in the system," said the Martins' lawyer Benjamin Crump to The Huffington Post. "Faith that the family is slowly losing."

At a rally in Florida, the Martins spoke to the crowd. "My heart is broken," said Martin's mother. "That way my baby."

Martin's father also took the podium. "I'm standing here today as a father," he said. "Not only was he my son, he was my best friend."

For more on the protests in Oakland and San Francisco, watch CBS's video below:

FOLLOW SAN FRANCISCO

Filed by Robin Wilkey  |