Salisbury Community Members Hold Vigil for Trayvon Martin - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salisbury Community Members Hold Vigil for Trayvon Martin

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- It has been just a week since George Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murderand manslaughter charges in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Since the verdict was announced, there have been massive protests, including one held Saturday in Salisbury. 

The Billy Gene Jackson Park in Salisbury is more than 850 miles away from Sanford, Fla., where Martin was shot last February, but still the passion was evident at a Salisbury vigil Saturday. More than 60 people from the community gathered to mourn the loss of life. 

"Things that happened with him, should have never happened," said April Jackson an advocate in the area. "But it did. And we just want to make sure that this does not happen again to our children. And this does not just mean black children. That means children, period."

Jackson planned the event, which was sponsored by the National Action Network. There were many speakers present speaking to an audience of all ages, from infants to the elderly.

Twenty-one-year-old Tre Chapmon stood in the back of the group, nodding his head at the speakers' comments. 

"It's a shame what happened to him," he said. "But like they've been saying - it's been happening in our community for a long time. And it needs to stop."

There were many parents at the event, who said they were there to make sure the youth in the community were protected. Avril Davis was there with her nephew, who she said was the same age as Martin. 

"This is all for the children," she said. "Absolutely - they are so innocent."

There is still a considerable amount of debate though, across the nation and in Salisbury. Many told WBOC that despite the death being a tragedy, the maintenance of the right to defend oneself is important as well. Mike Arnone said that he was happy the jury was able to come to a decision, without becoming overwhelmed by the emotions of the case. 

"Justice needs to be blind," he said. "You can't go by emotions. You have to go by the law."

At Billy Gene Jackson Park though, self-defense policies like the "Stand Your Ground" law were one of the biggest targets of criticism. Many at the park called the whole issue one of racial profiling and race relations as a whole. 

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