ATLANTA (WAOK)-Close to 200 Atlantans boarded buses and vans on Thursday morning to head to Sanford, Florida for the National Action Network’s Justice for Trayvon Rally. The bus caravan is being lead by Derrick Boazman host of Too Much Truth on News and Talk 1380 WAOK.
Lorraine Jacques White host of WAOK’s Powertalk and Janice Mathis of Rainbow PUSH/Sister’s In Law are also attending the rally. Lorraine White said, “After I heard what happened to Trayvon Martin I just couldn’t sit here…I had to go to Florida.” Derrick Boazman said he was emotionally moved by the many calls he received on his show from young and old, male and female describing their sorrow and outrage at the death of Martin. Boazman immediately made plans to book buses for the trip after a sobbing grandmother told him “Please find me a way to get to Florida.”
Trayvon Martin was a 17 year old teenager who was shot to death by George Zimmerman, a watch captain of an uncertified neighborhood watch group on Sunday, February 26 during halftime of the NBA AllStar game. Martin was wearing a hoodie in the rain and was on his way back to a relative’s house with a bag of Skittles and a iced tea when he was confronted by Zimmerman who called the police department and told him he saw a young black man acting “suspiciously.”
There are racial overtones to the story after it was discovered that Zimmerman muttered an ethnic slur in his call to police before he apparently chased Martin and amid his screams for help shot the unarmed teen to death.
Civil rights leaders around the country have held town hall meetings, rallies and marches in several cities over the past week. NAACP President Benjamin Jealous is calling for not only the arrest of Zimmerman but the resignation of Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee.
City commissioners in Sanford, Fla., voted “no confidence” in Police Chief Bill Lee Jr. (3-2) following a motion made by Commissioner Mark McCarty who said, “I take no pleasure in a public flogging of our police chief, but he really should turn in his resignation.” Lee is being criticized for not investigating the shooting. Police took Zimmerman’s word that the shooting was in self defense. Witness calls to 911 and the disclosure that Martin told his girlfriend he was being followed by a strange man while on his cell phone moments before his death refute the original story of how the shooting happened.
20 thousand protesters are expected Thursday in Sanford Florida a city of roughly 50 thousand people near Orlando.