Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

About 175 march in Tampa in protest of Zimmerman verdict

TAMPA — The crowd was angry. They wore hoodies and carried signs and called for "Justice for Trayvon."

More than 175 people marched Sunday evening from Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park to the federal courthouse in protest after a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of murder in the killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin last year in Sanford.

"Are you angry?" Alekos Zambrano, 22, of Tampa asked the crowd through a megaphone. "You should be angry."

What started as a group of 20 people posted near the fountains in Curtis Hixon Park swelled to about 175 within an hour. They chanted and mourned and asked, "How could this happen?"

One man sporting a Florida hoodie waved a pack of Skittles and a can of Arizona Iced Tea, the items 17-year-old Martin was carrying when he was shot. Some passing cars honked at the crowd as law enforcement stood nearby at the Glazer Children's Museum.

People took turns speaking from a megaphone, sharing their concern and outrage over Zimmerman's acquittal.

"It really, really hurt me to hear that verdict of not guilty, because I thought about my son and the fact that I have to teach him to understand that there's people that might not love you because of the color of your skin," said Shay Johnson, 28, who has a 6-year-old son. "And even if you fight, you might die fighting because of the color of your skin."

Protests of varying sizes took place across the United States following the verdict, according to news reports. The Orlando Sentinel reported protests in Sanford on Sunday afternoon ranging in size from a dozen to 40 people.

Life Malcolm, 38, of Tampa, was in Sanford on Saturday to hear the ruling. He returned to Tampa and spoke to the crowd Sunday, calling for "an eye for an eye" and "a life for a life."

Malcolm, who has tattoos spelling out "life" in bullets on his right arm and "death" on his left, said people must equate the value of a black life to the value of a white life.

"I'm not by any means calling for violence for violence's sake," Malcolm said. "But it has to be clear that an African life is worth another life."

Caitlin Johnston can be reached at or (813) 661-2443.

About 175 march in Tampa in protest of Zimmerman verdict 07/14/13 [Last modified: Sunday, July 14, 2013 9:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Wing Jonathan Drouin could be the only piece that Tampa Bay has to acquire a badly needed top-tier defenseman.
  2. Ryan Hunter-Reay running strong as he seeks a second Indianapolis 500 title

    Auto racing

    Ryan Hunter-Reay isn't a big jewelry fan.

    Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won Indy in 2014, is a contender for a second title in today’s 101st running. He qualified 10th, had the third-fastest practice lap and his team is looking strong.
  3. As Trump's overseas trip ends, crisis grows at home (w/video)


    President Donald Trump headed home Saturday to confront a growing political and legal threat, as his top aides tried to contain the fallout from reports that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is a focus of investigations into possible collusion between Russia and the president's campaign and transition teams.

    President Donald Trump waves as he exits Marine One on Saturday at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, Italy. After a nine-day trip overseas, the president is returning to Washington.
  4. Tributes pour in for Zbigniew Brzezinski, an 'influential voice' in politics (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — Well before he went to the White House in 1977, Jimmy Carter was impressed by the views of foreign policy expert Zbigniew Brzezinski. That Carter immediately liked the Polish-born academic advising his campaign was a plus.

    Foreign policy expert Zbigniew Brzezinski died Friday.
  5. One year after deaths, Sunset Music Festival kicks off with emphasis on water and security

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Before the beat drops, or even builds, you hear Steve-O.

    "If you don't get water you're lame!"

    "Hey! Free water! Come on!"

    Steve "Steve-O" Raymond motions to guests making the line to grab free water bottle at the entrance of the Sunset Music Festival on the grounds of the Raymond James Stadium parking lot in Tampa. ( LUIS SANTANA   |   Times)