On Sunday, July 14, the Brooklyn Branch of the NAACP collaborated with celebrity Solange Knowles to host a rally on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall calling for the United States Department of Justice to file Federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the wake of his acquittal in the criminal case.
Dressed unassumingly and standing with a poise that conveyed extreme sincerity, Knowles delivered a heartfelt address to the hundreds of supporters in attendance. She spoke about not being a politician, but someone who believed that it was time for action and for change, calling for justice for the 17-yr. old Martin from Sanford, Fl. who was killed when George Zimmerman shot him in February of 2012.
Knowles held a plaque between her hands, which quoted the words of Malcolm X: ‘I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.’
After her remarks, Charles F. Coleman Jr., civil rights attorney and chair of the Brooklyn NAACP’s criminal justice committee delivered words to the crowd. “This is not simply about Trayvon. The injustice in Sanford, Florida is as much about stand your ground as it is about stop and frisk policies here in New York City. We must take a stand. The time is now.”
Members of the Brooklyn branch were on hand, coordinating the signing of the petition, which urged the Justice Department to file civil rights charges against Zimmerman, who was found, not guilty late Saturday evening.
“The Justice Department has said they would review the case,” Coleman remarked. “We will not rest until the charges have actually been filed.”
Several community leaders and elected officials attended including New York City Councilwoman Leticia James and City Council speaker Christine Quinn. Victim rights advocate Ken Thompson urged the crowd to remain vigilant in advocating for justice. “Trayvon has a long legacy in this country which dates back to Emmitt Till and extends to include Abner Louima and Sean Bell.”
Yesterday the NAACP placed the same petition online calling for action from United States Attorney General Eric Holder. By evening, the number of signatures had reached 100,000.
To stay abreast of all happenings with the Brooklyn branch of the NAACP, text “Brooklyn” to 26227.