NEW YORK — Trayvon Martin’s family marked the anniversary of his shooting death with a candlelight vigil in the city.
Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, were joined by actor Jamie Foxx and a crowd of about 200 people on Tuesday evening in Manhattan’s Union Square Park. They lit candles and held a moment of silence at 7:17 p.m., the time Martin was fatally shot on Feb. 26, 2012.
“I’m the mother of two boys,” Fulton said. “I have one son on earth and one son in heaven.”
The 17-year-old unarmed black teenager, who had been wearing a hooded sweatshirt, was killed by neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman after the two got into a confrontation in a gated community in Sanford, Fla. Civil rights leaders said that if Martin had been white, Zimmerman, whose father is white and whose mother is Hispanic, would have been arrested immediately instead of weeks later.
Jacksonville prosecutor Angela Corey took over the investigation and filed second-degree murder charges against Zimmerman a month and a half after Martin’s shooting. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense, and his trial is set for June.
Martin’s shooting set off a national outcry over race issues and stand-your-ground laws, which allow people to use deadly force if their lives are in danger.
At the vigil, the crowd members were told “Hoods up!” and were asked to put up their hooded sweatshirts, which have become symbols of the outrage over Martin’s death.
“This day, until the day I die, will always be Hoods Up Day for me,” Tracy Martin said.
Foxx told the crowd that when he met Fulton after her son’s death, it made him think about something happening to his own teenage daughter.
“I just started to think: What would I feel like if she wasn’t there with me?” he said.