They clutched bags of Skittles candy and cans of iced tea as they marched downtown in the pouring rain Friday, adding their voices to a growing chorus angry over the shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager in Florida.
Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., by a community watch volunteer who claimed he was acting in self defense. Police say Trayvon was carrying a bag of Skittles and some iced tea, but no weapon.
About 150 marchers streamed north on Michigan Avenue from Millennium Park Friday, many of them furious at what they see as Trayvon’s senseless killing.
“It’s horrific, and it’s a travesty,” said Geraldine Robinson, 58, who lives on the South Side. “I’m very angry. It could have very easily been my son.”
Tamika Jackson, 35, a chef from the South Side, said the case against Zimmerman appeared to be cut-and-dried.
“He shot the boy,” Jackson said. “It wasn’t self-defense. The [911 dispatcher] told him not to pursue [Trayvon], and he did. He shot him. That’s murder. I would like to see him prosecuted.”
As the procession snaked down State Street near the Chicago Theatre, marchers shouted: “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”
Alicia McGhee, 29, of Maywood, one of the organizers of the march, said she hoped Friday’s event would spur a wider conversation about racism in America.
“We have the march, and then everyone goes home,” McGhee said. “We don’t continue the conversations. . . . We have communities of color that are having these conversations in their communities, but we’re not having a universal roundtable conversation.”