Trayvon Martin may have lived and died in Florida, but the circumstances surrounding his death have struck a chord in Queens.
On Saturday, March 31, Councilmember Leroy Comrie,the Commission on Social Action (COSA) and the Greater Allen AME Cathedral sponsored a march in honor of those whose lives have been lost to gun violence. Among those being remembered was Martin, the Florida teen who was allegedly shot and killed by purported neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman.
The route of the march took protesters from Linden and Francis Lewis Boulevards to St. Albans Park, where community leaders spoke to those who made their way through the rain for the event.
The goal of the rally was to bring attention to the impact of gun violence on communities, and especially young people. Additionally, the event served as “an opportunity for Queens youth to learn about their rights and what they can do to help make sure tragedies like this do not happen to them,” said a spokesperson for Comrie.
Florence Simmons, founder of Teens Against Crime, said the incident involving Treyvon Martin made her fearful for her own children and wary of how easily they can be stereotyped by something as simple as what they wear.
The local advocate appreciates the recent marches that have taken place surrounding this incident, but hopes for a more permanent way to get people to open their eyes.
“We have to revise our lives,” said Simmons. “It’s sad for me as a parent. It’s a lesson for everyone.”
Additional reporting by Alexa Altman