Did Trayvon Martin attack George Zimmerman first?
Neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman says Trayvon Martin punched him, jumped on top of him and began banging his head on a sidewalk. Zimmerman said he cried for help, then shot Martin.
(Page 2 of 2)
Despite the news of Martin's possible actions the night of the shooting, rallies demanding the arrest of the 28-year-old Zimmerman spread from Florida to Indiana.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Thousands rallied Monday on the steps of the Georgia state Capitol. The crowd chanted "I am Trayvon!" and "Arrest Zimmerman now!" The protest ended with the crowd linking hands and singing, "We Shall Overcome."
Students from Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University encouraged their fellow students to talk to their lawmakers about gun laws. Students wore hoodies that said, "I am Trayvon Martin" and lofted signs reading, "Don't shoot!" and "I could be next."
"We're humans, and even more so, we're American citizens, and we have the expectation that justice will be delivered," said Ronnie Mosley, 20, a student at Morehouse who helped organize the rally.
Back in Sanford, city officials named a 23-year veteran of the police department as acting chief. The appointment of Capt. Darren Scott, who is African-American, came days after Chief Bill Lee, who is white, temporarily stepped down as the agency endured withering criticism over its handling of the case.
"I know each one of you — and everyone watching — would like to have a quick, positive resolution to this recent event," Scott told reporters. "I urge everyone to let the system take its course."
The Sanford City Commission held its first meeting Monday since giving Lee a no confidence vote, which led to his ouster. Martin's parents both addressed the panel, urging them to take steps to arrest Zimmerman. More than 500 people crowded into the meeting, which was moved from City Hall to the Sanford Civil Center.
"We are asking for justice," said Tracy Martin, the teenager's father.
Civil rights leader Al Sharpton warned commissioners that Sanford risked becoming a 21st century version of civil rights struggle in the South during the 1960s.
Sharpton said Martin's parents endured "insults and lies" Monday over reports that their son attacked Zimmerman.
Also Monday, an attorney for Martin's mother confirmed that she filed trademark applications for two slogans containing her son's name: "Justice for Trayvon" and "I Am Trayvon." The applications said the trademarks could be used for such things as DVDs and CDs.
The trademark attorney, Kimra Major-Morris, said in an email that Fulton wants to protect intellectual property rights for "projects that will assist other families who experience similar tragedies."
Asked if Fulton had any profit motive, the attorney replied: "None."
Anderson reported from Miami. Associated Press writer Suzette Laboy contributed from Sanford, Fla.