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Cleveland: Trayvon Martin rally draws peaceful crowd

6:43 PM, Jul 15, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- The outrage and frustration over the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida reached the streets of downtown Cleveland.

Monday afternoon, a crowd of about 150 protesters  demonstrated and heard a series of brief remarks from speakers, touching on the subjects of injustice, racism, equality, gun violence and respect.

Some wore hoodies. Many brandished and later threw Skittles in a show of solidarity with Trayvon Martin.

The crowd included many familiar faces at such protests. However, some were not regulars, but rather young men and women troubled by Trayvon's killing and Zimmerman's jury acquittal.

Charless Craggett, a 21-year-old college student from Cleveland, said he was often racially profiled.

"It's scary. It's something I deal with every day. I understand how Trayvon may have felt that night," he said.

He said he came to the rally to try to prevent more injustices.

NAACP member Ivan Williams urged the crowd to start greeting people by saying, " I respect you."

Some speakers connected the case to the still unresolved question of whether there will be criminal charged in the deadly Cleveland police shootings of two unarmed suspects following a citywide chase in November.

They urged the crowd to return if a grand jury fails to bring charges.

There were some tense pre-rally moment as protesters exchanged words with observers who accused them of trying to start trouble.

Sheriff's deputies watched the peaceful rally, which ended with a shower of Skittles thrown on the Justice Center steps.


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