Florida students rally to arrest white neighborhood watch leader
College students plan to rally Monday in Sanford, Fla., and on the campus of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. Rev. Al Sharpton is also planning a rally on Thursday.
Orlando, Fla. — College students around Florida are rallying to demand the arrest of a neighborhood watch captain who shot an unarmed black teen last month.
The Rev. Al Sharpton is also planning a rally for a black Florida teenager fatally shot by a white neighborhood watch volunteer. Sharpton will hold the rally Thursday at the First Shiloh Baptist Church in Sanford.
No charges have been filed in the February death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in a gated community near Orlando. Martin's family has criticized police for not arresting 28-year-old George Zimmerman, who admitted to shooting the teen but said he fired in self-defense. Martin was not armed.
Zimmerman had called police to report a suspicious person walking through the neighborhood. The teen had gone to a convenience store for candy.
Martin's family says 911 calls show the teen was terrified as he tried to flee Zimmerman.Sanford police released eight 911 calls late Friday.
The neighborhood watch volunteer, Zimmerman, tells a dispatcher in the first call that he is following 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. He says Martin is running, but the dispatcher tells him not to follow the teen.
"This guy looks like he is up to no good. He is on drugs or something," Zimmerman told the dispatcher from his SUV. He added that the black teen had his hand in his waistband and was walking around looking at homes. "These a-------. They always get away," Zimmerman said on a 911 call.
Martin's family said they are now more convinced than ever that Zimmerman should be charged in the shooting. Several of the 911 calls made by neighbors describe some sort of scuffle or fight outside, someone yelling for help and a gunshot.
"(Zimmerman) was chasing him, he was following him, and my son was afraid," Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's mother, told the AP. "He didn't know who this stranger was."
The Florida college students are demanding the arrest of Zimmerman . Zimmerman's father has said the man is Hispanic and is not racist.
Florida law allows a person to use deadly force if the person believes he or she is facing a deadly threat. The case has been turned over to the State Attorney's Office, which can file charges or present the case to a grand jury.
The Martin family has asked that the case be handled by the FBI, rather than local authorities.