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Continued: People rally across US for 'Justice for Trayvon'; pushing for federal charges, changes to laws

  • Article by: BILL BARROW , Associated Press
  • Last update: July 21, 2013 - 9:45 AM

"The verdict freed George Zimmerman, but it condemned America more," said Johnson, pastor of the Eastern Star Church in Indianapolis and a member of the board of directors of the National Action Network.

In Miami, Tracy Martin spoke about his son.

"This could be any one of our children," he said. "Our mission now is to make sure that this doesn't happen to your child."

He recalled a promise he made to his son as he lay in his casket. "I will continue to fight for Trayvon until the day I die," he said.

Shantescia Hill held a sign in Miami that read: "Every person deserves a safe walk home." The 31-year-old mother, who is black, said, "I'm here because our children can't even walk on the streets without fearing for their lives."

Attorney General Eric Holder announced this week that his department would investigate whether Zimmerman could be charged under federal civil rights laws. Such a case would require evidence that Zimmerman harbored racial animosity against Martin.

Most legal experts say that would be a difficult charge to prove. Zimmerman's lawyers have said their client wasn't driven by race, but by a desire to protect his neighborhood.

____

Associated Press writers Phillip Lucas in Atlanta, Charles Wilson in Indianapolis, Amanda Lee Myers in Cincinnati, Christine Armario in Miami and Verena Dobnik in New York contributed to this report.

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