Trayvon Martin protest closes Sanford Police Department
A group of students protesting the Trayvon Martin shooting on Monday blocked the entrance to the Sanford Police Department by kneeling in front of the doors, forcing the department to close.
arrests have been made in the protest, which comes a day after the
students, who call themselves the Dream Defenders, completed a 40-mile,
three-day march from Daytona Beach to Sanford, where Martin, 17, was
shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in late
City officials and members of the U.S. Department of Justice were
observing the demonstration, which consisted of a handful of students
-- some wearing hoodies -- blocking the entrance, with dozens of others
"The city of Sanford hopes the actions of the
students will be as peaceful and orderly as the previous rallies and
marches have been," said city manager Norton Bonaparte, Jr. "We want to
be accommodating to all our visitors proving they act in a manner that
is respectful to the people of the city."
Angela Corey, who announced earlier Monday that she will not bring the
case before a grand jury, spoke to the students via a conference call.
Corey asked the students for patience and ensured that she is conducting
a fair investigation.
Sanford officials said the closing of the
police department will have a minimal effect on police and fire
responses to emergency calls. Citizens who need to do routine police
business can go to Sanford City Hall to see a representative at the city
clerk's office, officials said.
On Sunday night, the nearly 50
students made a call for non-violent civil disobedience while speaking
at the Allen Chapel AME Church in Sanford.
The students demanded Zimmerman's arrest, an overhaul of the justice system and the ouster of elected officials.
you know who (your elected officials) are?" asked Dream Defender and
Florida A&M student, Ciara Taylor. "I bet you do now. I bet you
didn't know they would stand by idly while George Zimmerman has been on
the loose for 40 days."
Martin's mom, Sybrina Fulton, spoke to the students via cellphone.
is not only about Trayvon, this is about your future as well, and we
just want to say thank you. We really appreciate you," said Fulton.
The Dream Defenders took Fulton's gratitude to heart as they passionately demanded a revolution.
Dr. (Martin Luther) King were alive today, he would know that his dream
has not come true," said Stetson University student Jelissa Conway.
"Because if it had, we would not have to be here and Trayvon Martin
would still be alive."
Sanford police said Zimmerman, 28, shot and
killed Martin, who was wearing a hoodie and carrying a bag of Skittles,
an iced tea and his cellphone, during a confrontation. Zimmerman said
he shot the teen in self-defense, and he has not been arrested or
charged, prompting numerous marches and rallies across the country.
Florida's "stand your ground law," which allows someone to meet "force with force," has also come under fire.
state attorney's office is investigating the shooting, although it
remains unclear when a decision will be announced on whether charges
will be filed in the case.
Zimmerman is currently in hiding, according to his attorneys.
Dream Defenders said they are composed of a diverse array of young
leaders from across the country with one common goal -- to work in
solidarity to incite generational change and make global impact.