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Rally against Zimmerman verdict held in Albany
ALBANY -- The National Action Network organized "Justice for Trayvon" vigils in 100 cities across the nation, including one right here in the Capital Region. Hundreds met outside the Federal Courthouse in Albany just after noon Saturday. Their message: this protest isn't about just one court case.
One week after a Florida jury ruled George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, local protesters say now is the time to speak out.
"This is not just about one case, it's about a system that's not functioning to the benefit of people of color in this country," organizer Angelica Clarke tells us.
"We're going to let people know that what happened in Florida with Zimmerman can never happen again," Joe Lombardo of Delmar tells us.
Here in the Capital Region, organizers of this rally say unfair treatment of minorities is a harsh reality.
"Unequal enforcement of the law is an issue everywhere in this country especially in Albany we have a very large problem with un-equal enforcement with unequal convictions of people of color vs 40 percent of all convictions for drug offenses are black people," Clarke says.
Organizers tell us they hope marches like this one will press the federal government to investigate civil rights charges against George Zimmerman. Something legal experts think there's a good chance will happen.
"The next step here for Zimmerman may be facing an investigation by the department of justice for potential federal criminal charges, as well as a civil lawsuit his life is not just going to go on normally now," says attorney Paul Derohannesian
In addition to pushing the Justice Department to investigate the charges against Zimmerman, Rev. Al Sharpton is also fighting for a rollback of stand-your-ground self defense laws, which are on the books in more than 20 states.
As of right now, The Justice Department is investigating Zimmerman, but has not yet filed charges.