VSU students rally for teen shot in Florida - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

VSU students rally for teen shot in Florida

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Around 200 people turned out at Virginia State University today to show their support for a 17-year-old boy killed in a controversial Florida shooting.

A neighborhood watch captain is accused of shooting and killing Trayvon Martin in February. Now, people across the nation, and here in Central Virginia, are demanding he be charged with a crime. VSU students plan to hold a rally for justice.

Martin's death is the talk on the VSU campus. Thursday morning, students drew around 200 people to the fountain to express how they feel. Many are outraged.

A heated discussion in a sociology class sparked action.

"Starting passing the word around, Facebooking it, tweeting it or what-not," said VSU senior, Yi Yahkim Yisrayl. "We're going to put some [flyers] up in the business. We've got to speak up for Trayvon."

The teen was killed by self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, last month. Police in Sanford, Florida, said it was self defense. Martin was walking home from a store after buying candy and ice tea.

This is part of Zimmerman's 911 call.

Dispatcher: "Are you following him?"
Zimmerman: "Yeah."
Dispatcher: "Ok we don't need you to do that."

"He was the one getting harassed. He was the one getting followed. If Zimmerman felt his life was in threat he should have fled," said Yisrayl.

Police said this isn't a hate crime, but the U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil rights probe into the shooting.

"Then the other tapes the one with Zimmerman on the phone using that racial epithet and other things just racially profiling him," said Yisrayl.

Martin's parents spoke on The Today Show.

"They decided on scene to be the judge and jury and I just want this guy arrested," said Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton.

A petition online at change.org is also calling for prosecution. So far, it has nearly a million signatures. A grand jury will investigate.

Yisrayl said people should stand up for an injustice.

"It's a community effort, it could happen to any one of us," said Yisrayl.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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