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St. Louis Came Out For Trayvon Martin, Another Rally at Noon Today

July 20, 2013 Crime, Downtown, Featured, Popular Culture 32 Comments

Last Sunday a couple  hundred people showed up at the St. Louis Justice Center to rally against the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the February 26, 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

St. Louisans gathered peacefully outside the Justice Center on Sunday July 14th
St. Louisans gathered peacefully outside the Justice Center on Sunday July 14th

Across the country today more demonstrations will be held at federal courthouses. “The St. Louis gathering will take place at 12 noon at the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse (111 South 10th Street St. Louis, MO 63102).” (source)

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  • Mark

    Why the demonstrations? It would appear that, from day #1, the demonstrators weren’t as much interested in a fair trial for Zimmerman as much as they were looking for a conviction. SKIP THE TRIAL; LET’S GO TO THE GALLOWS. Without knowledge of the facts, in their minds it would appear they were ready to fry Zimmerman. Every day our courts are forced to release guilty individuals from custody because we just don’t have the evidence to convict. And, unfortunately, the reverse is true as well. Therein lies the strength of our system. In this case, the prosecution just couldn’t develop and execute. It’s really that simple. And, based on the system, Zimmerman should go free.

    • Me

      In this particular case and because of Florida law, all the court had to prove under the Stand Your Ground Law is that Zimmerman PERCEIVED of a threat to his life, no matter Who initiated contact. This is what makes this trial and Law so controversial. It enabled Zimmerman to kill a child. And no matter which way you want to coat it, when you see a child walking down a street at 7 pm, and you assume they are up to no good, then you have in some way already profiled them. This “hunch” that Zimmerman had in regards to Trayvon is what led to his death. Zimmerman acted as Judge, Juror, AND executioner. When first trailing TM in his vehicle, GZ could have pulled up beside him, asked him if he lived there, introduced himself as neighborhood watch, advised him to go home given the recent burglaries….Instead TM eventually got spooked from being followed, ducked between two houses and ran. We know all this too be true, it’s what happens once TM is cornered in the neighbors backyard that becomes sketchy. Because GZ did not have to testify in this case, we will never know what happened for certain. But 911 recordings are being called to further investigation because on those recordings it is now believed that it was Trayvon Martin, not Zimmerman, screaming for help for 4 minutes before being shot. help help help help help i’m begging you to help me, help help help NOOOOOOOO…Bang. What shooter says that before shooting?

      • mae

        https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CC8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FShooting_of_Trayvon_Martin&ei=hNrrUeeyIo-29gSp2oHADQ&usg=AFQjCNHHgjzR4W7f_PtMhcKKjMT8k7flTA&sig2=VRGnh6DZaksIyHcXJAGKzw&bvm=bv.49478099,d.eWU

        Me: You and the media continue to refer to Martin as a “child”. The media uses the photo that we’ve all seen which shows Martin WHEN HE WAS A CHILD. Obama’s famous comment that Martin could have been his own son showed the same child-photo in the background. HOWEVER, ME, that photo was deliberately misleading. Martin may have been childish, but he was no child. He was 6′-2″ tall, and he weighed 175#–not a reason to kill him in an of itself. But certainly a reason to be suspicious of him, in that he was wearing a hoodie, and ALSO BECAUSE HE WAS KNOWN TO HAVE AN ATTITUDE ABOUT WHITES IN THAT HE REFERRED TO THEM AS CRACKERS. He was no angel, Me. We don’t know what happened that evening, and the jury did the best it could. (For some reason beyond explanation, ME, I associate a HOODIE with crime. Why? I suppose it MAY BE BECAUSE I’ve seen a lot of crime committed by PEOPLE WEARING HOODIES. Am I wrong to make this association, ME? I may be. But it’s real. Illusion vs. reality, Me. It’s a theme in literature that dates back to the Romantic period. It’s real today.)

        • Mae

          sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CDoQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.snopes.com%2Fphotos%2Fpolitics%2Fmartin.asp&ei=zd3rUeOAA4Hk9ASDwYDwDw&usg=AFQjCNHAUAnfBIlQwrXQGzEq_eri0PSZug&sig2=qU1X5MEACLsxDxLdjm9s8Q&bvm=bv.49478099,d.eWU

          This is the link I had hoped to attach–the one that shows a then-current photo of Martin. Just google “Travon Martin weight and height”. You’ll see for yourself.

        • moe

          I’m going to chime in here……Mae….I will grant you that Martin was darn close to an adult. Look around people…there are many 12, 14, 16 year olds that look like adults. But why would it make him suspicious just because he was wearing a hoodie on a rainy night? As for your comment that the hoodie AND the ‘known to have an attitude about whites” is cause to be suspicious, I must ask how is that possible?
          How could GZ possibly have known that TM had an attitude that whites were crackers? How do you know what attitudes I have or GMichaud has?
          I’ve seen a lot of crime committed by people with ball caps….should I be suspicious of all people with ball caps?

          • Mae

            I’m really quite certain that I am NOT the only person who looks suspiciously at people wearing hoodies. I have seen signs on doors of businesses which read: NO HOODIES ALLOWED.Where are these signs? I don’t know. Hell, at age 95, I sometimes don’t remember yesterday’s breakfast menu. If it was in fact raining that evening, then there may be an explanation behind use of the hoodie–unless it was typical Florida weather, which generally doesn’t require the use of a sweatshirt/hoodie to maintain body warmth, rain or shine. I can’t pinpoint a scientific reason why hoodies are suspicious, but I can say with certainty that I feel threatened by them. Just as I would feel threatened if on a 90 degree evening, a customer walked into my grocery store wearing a trenchcoat, sporting something long and hard under the coat that wasn’t attached to his anatomy. Experience tells us certain things, Moe, and when you’re not trying to win an argument, you would probably acknowledge that as well~! WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WAS SAID THAT EVENING. And we don’t know how aggressive (if at all) Martin became. Similarly, we don’t know how aggressive Zimmerman was, if at all. We don’t know WHAT ACTUALLY PRECIPITATED Zimmerman following Martin. It could be that Martin made some “cracker” comment to Zimmerman, and this is a somewhat reasonable assumption because of the comments that we know he made to the female friend whom he was on the phone with, and who testified for the prosecution at the trial. I know this: I own a grocery store/deli and when a person (african or white, cuban or asian) walks into my store wearing a hoodie, the cameras immediately focus on everything that person does. He can’t breathe heavily without my recording it on camera Why? Experience, Moe! I’ve gotten by for 95 years, lived through the early to mid 40′s with our German friends and all their nonsense, I’ve weathered major changes in demographics and socio-economic status in and around my place of business, and I’m not about to accept ill-mannered or abusive or worse behavior from ANYONE because of his race. When I’m in my store, Moe, I’m always just a few seconds away from grabbing a revolver, if I need it–which I’ll do and without compunction–which is what I’ve been trained (professionally) to do, and which I’m licensed to do, Moe! That’s my story, Moe. That somewhat summarizes my views about what I consider to be the worst period in US racial history–only to get worse and we continue to offer assistance and child support to groups of people who’d rather sit at home during the day and watch soap operas and reality shoes, then fornicate all evening–just to maintain a better standard of living.

          • moe

            You know Mae, I just trying to determine why you were trying to rake GMichaud over the coals I was not trying to win any argument. But with your original comment of TM “known to have an attitude about whites” (which you haven’t answered as to how you or GZ would know that prior too) and your follow up comments regarding ‘seconds away from grabbing a revolver’, and ‘we continue to offer assistance and child support to groups of people’ shows that you are indeed if not a racist, then a bigot and probably both Mae…no matter how many times you repeat my name. Oh and by the way….it is a fact that it was raining that night and there are many people that places where it maybe 95 degrees during the day, yet need a jacket at night. When did you become the fashion police? Just visit the MUNY any night for proof here, much less Florida.

          • wondering

            And why is it that Mae and Mark seem to read as the same person?

          • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

            They do have the same IP address!

          • samizdat

            They do seem both to use all caps quite frequently, no?

          • moe

            And the interesting thing though it that I’m sure Mae/Mark is an ok person…just not 95 and doesn’t have a brother that owns a restaurant downtown. He/she is correct though further down with the comment of how the “AA community demonstrates more frequently…” . Meaning that I’m watching the evening news (ch 5) where they were interviewing pastors about tonight’s meeting on the Francis Howell bussing issue and these pastors were saying that ‘we need to hold the parents responsible’, presumably about making the bussing issue a success from a number of view points and I’m thinking…why don’t we hear that more frequently? And not just from a few pastors (there were 3) but from all the preachers area – wide? why don’t we hear others: teachers and school administrators, city leaders, PTA groups, even fellow students? And not just on bussing but a host of other issues all the time: bussing, violence (no matter the skin color), divorce, healthcare, gay rights, etc. No, instead, all we hear over and over and over again is preaching about the sanctity of marriage, pro-life, and the evils (or wrongs) of the other side. To me it’s always more about being divisive and rarely about unity. If we, as a population, would hear more about the value of our neighbors (despite their skin color, their economic value, their number of kids, etc), the value of self-worth and self-respect, so, so, so many of our problems would disappear within the decade. In the end, we are all one.

        • Me

          I don’t refer to him as a child because of his appearance. I refer to him as a child because he was a minor. He was wearing a hoodie because it was raining. Also what does TM’s character have to do with this murder? Are you suggesting a teenager with an attitude deserves to die or that the value of his life is somehow diminshed…let’s keep this logical. We know that on the night of question he had commited no crime, but was walking back from the gast station with a bag of skittles and some iced tea. We also know George did not know the child or his history and so it is irrelevant in the cause of his death. Illusion vs reality?? Hoodies and crime?? What about a nun, would you consider them hostile as well?

  • Mae

    Like Mark, I too question the “why” behind the demonstration…..unless the group is demonstrating against all the violent crime that we read about daily in the Post Dispatch, white on white crime, white on black crime, but mostly black on black crime which is always forefront in the news. Unless the group is demonstrating against all the carjackings, the random burglaries, the armed-robberies, drug-related massacres, senseless beatings that occur almost daily on the streets in St Louis, but mostly in North St Louis, then I think this group is wasting their time. Our president, whom I voted for the first time, mentioned that the African American race is really hurting……! Our president didn’t acknowledge, though, that NON-African Americans (including the families of certain Vietnamese and Bosnian businessmen) are really hurting, too, because of the violence that appears to be “every day” in the African Amer. community. In my opinion, the Zimmerman trial has done more to destroy race relations than any other recent event in US history. And, quite frankly, I think it has made white America even more aware of the importance of assuring themselves that their own interests will be considered in forthcoming elections.

  • GMichaud

    The point of the demonstrations is that Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin and brought on the shooting that ended up killing him. Lets say I followed Mark or Mae with a gun, then shoot them, and turn around and claim self defense with no witness to counter my arguments. An armed person pursuing and unarmed person and doing bodily harm would be wrong anywhere but in the alternate universe of America, hence the demonstrations.

    I am well aware of the shortcomings of humanity, being a Vietnam combat vet and still standing at 65 years old. And there is no way to condone crime like the knockout games, but the stand your ground laws are nothing more than an enhanced version of the knockout games, hence the protests.

    The solution I see is jobs, the stepping stone jobs that could lift people out of poverty were shipped overseas in the name of capitalism years ago right after a measure of equality was achieved in the Civil Rights struggle. (don’t forget the Civil War was over a 100 years earlier, hence the protests)

    And again violence is not right, no matter the color of your skin. but to understand how we got to this point there is an excellent book called “Tombee” by Theodore Rosengarten. It describes the slave culture of a cotton planter. To cut to the chase, imagine either Mark or or Mae if your family, brothers, sisters, mom and dad, were sold individually to many different landowners, breaking up your family (again the wonders of capitalism, nothing like free markets, right?)
    This happened generation after generation (the first slave in America was around 1654). Think about what that would mean to your life today if that happened to you as a child.

    Eventually all family bonds would be destroyed, that brings us to today, and America has never addressed how to repair that cultural chasm, instead as mentioned America does the opposite and eliminate paths to repairing the past that the stepping stone jobs would have provided.

    To me the attitude of Mark and Mae exposes the problem and why it lingers until now, hence the need for demonstrations.

    • Mae

      My attitude, GMachaud, has been shaped by my own experiences. The stories that my ancestors tell, GMachaud, are not of Snow White or even Robin Hood. My ancestors were murdered by the Germans. Why? The reasons are as unexplainable as some of the African American murders are today. The Germans were the creators of the knockout games. It would appear that the African American race has taken up their torch. Generally, my race has learned to adjust and prosper, without stereotypically resorting to violence, without stereotypically abandoning the institution of marriage, without being looked at with suspicionl. And why do many non-blacks look at a black male and suspect him of evil? The reason is simple. Opinions are based on experience, GMachaud. What is worse, Gmachaud, watching as your family members are sold off to a landowner, or watching as your mother is raped by a German soldier then sent inside a building never to emerge again? The demonstrations, Michaud, have everything to do with applying pressure on the Justice Department to conjure up enough circumstantial evidence to bring a civil suit against George Zimmerman. I personally wish this Zimmerman mess hadn’t happened, GMachaud. But it did. And there isn’t enough evidence to convict Zimmerman, and therefore he should be a free men. And that freedom should be recognized by both blacks whites, and even by our President! I’m certain OJ Simpson would understand.

    • Mae

      Oh, and one more point, GMachaud: JOBS! Commonly understood as prerequisites for a job are daily and punctual attendance, some sort of academic preparation and/or training, and a protestant work ethic.

      • GMichaud

        Your racism is on full display, I don’t have to say another thing. A whole segment of the population is defective according to your point of view. You and people like you are why there is a need for demonstrations. Hitler dealt in the same generalizations, isn’t that correct?, such irony.

        • Mae

          My comment is a general statement. Nothing more. If for some reason you chose to interpret it personally, then I would respectfully suggest that you look within. Based on my experiences and work ethic, I don’t read into it any hint of threat. I’m sorry if you feel differently, and I suggest that you do whatever is within your power to make necessary changes within your culture and/or the culture that you are defending.

          • GMichaud

            Please, your racial sterotyping is not a general statement. I respectfully suggest you look within. You launch into the usual sterotypes implying that African Americans are not capable or qualified to hold those jobs. We weren’t speaking of jobs in general, but rather how shipping jobs overseas denied the African American community those stepping stone jobs to a better life after they finally achieved a measure of equality. Your intentions as shown by the context of your comment are obvious. I suggest you do whatever is within your power to make the necessary changes to modify your prejudicial outlook towards other human beings.

            Even the wording of your above comment “the culture that you are defending” makes it clear you feel that there are communities beneath you and that we are not all Americans created equal.

  • Me

    Please, someone tell me, when will the next rally in/near St. Louis, MO be? Is there a schedule? If so where might I find it? St. Louis is the closest city to me. I feel very strongly about this and would like to be present. Thank you.

  • Eric

    Zimmerman wasn’t proven guilty, but neither was he proven innocent. He might have had a valid self-defense claim, and might not, and no proof exists either way. So acquittal was the only legally justified conclusion. I understand why people are upset that a killer has gone free, but that is what wrongful death lawsuits are for. If only a couple of the jurors were black, then the conclusion would have been the same and I think there would be a lot less outrage now.

    • Mae

      I agree, Eric, with all you stated. But let’s not forget that the prosecution had the opportunity to place two blacks on the jury, and for whatever odd reason, they chose not to. I’m certain the prosecution could have found two blacks that both they and the defense attorneys would have found acceptable. (Heck, the defense attorneys COULDN’T have objected to blacks based solely on their race, especially in a case of this type!) If anything, it is my opinion that Atty Gen. Holder should pursue a case of malpractice against the prosecution, and he should leave George Zimmerman quite alone! I’m 95 years old next Thursday, and in my lifetime I have never witnessed a case quite like this one.

      • moe

        I think it is and was a race problem. This trail just scraped the scab off it again, just like O.J.’s, just like the election of Pres. Obama, etc. That’s what started this. What continues it is that the prosecution at first wasn’t going to do anything until the public outcry (some say due to his father, a retired judge’s influence)…but then the prosecution made the fatal mistake of thinking they had a slam dunk. They allowed a weak jury to be put in place and really bungled some of the testimony, hence the last minute additional charge of manslaughter/child abuse. They realized too late that they may lose. And of course you have a defense with $$$$.

        This Country and this City and this area still have race issues. To pretend we don’t is living in fantasy land. Look at Oakville….those residents weren’t upset about the notification process until they found out “those” people were going to move in. We all have an arrogant, not in my backyard, poor people are criminals, people of different races are not to be trusted. We all need to work on this, it is an ongoing battle within ourselves.

    • Me

      “Zimmerman wasn’t proven guilty, but neither was he proven innocent. He might have had a valid self-defense claim, and might not, and no proof exists either way.” Excellent point but as far as my understanding, acquittal was the only “reasonable” conclusion because of the Stand Your Ground Law. All Zimmerman had to prove was that he perceived of a threat to his life.

  • JZ71

    Reasonable doubt is a high standard, as it should be – “Better a guilty man go free than an innocent man be punished”. No one is saying the George Zimmerman isn’t guilty of criminal stupidity – he was told not to follow, yet did so – but he can’t be convicted of that. We don’t know who threw the first punch, but we do know who “brought a gun to a knife fight”. We also know that both young men could “stand their ground” under Florida law. That law definitely needs further discussion, but I doubt that demonstrations are a very effective forum for doing so. And I agree with Mae – we have crime happening every day, here in St. Louis, much of it based on profiling, gangs and poverty, yet we’re only seeing demonstrations about a single, similar crime that happened hundreds of miles away in Florida – what’s wrong with this picture?!

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/time-for-another-look-at-stand-your-ground/2132374

    • GMichaud

      JZ, imagine for a moment you were Trayvon Martin and a not guilty plea was granted. I would imagine your family and friends would be outraged, and perhaps it would lead to a demonstration about the injustice of the verdict. Throw in some racism and it is clear that the demonstrations are voices of concern, just as they would be if you were in the same position as Trayvon Martin.

      By the way the St Louis community has regular demonstrations against violence. If you keep up with the news you will see them occur on a fairly regular basis, The press does not cover them all, but they are out there. So the meme there are no demonstrations about violence is completely false. Try searching the PD archives for starters if you don’t believe me.

      • Mark

        Why is it, GMichaud, that the AA community demonstrates more frequently (always?) when the offense is white on black? Why not when the offense is black on white? Or even black on black? Are these considered meaningless crimes to the AA community? (I think this is a legitimate question, one that many whites are asking. I would appreciate your candid response.)

        • Mae

          Not to belabor an issue, but this morning’s Post Dispatch carries a front-page story of Jevon Mallory, who at 14 attacked a Ritenour middle school teacher (just to pass the time) and more recently at age 18 attacked a Meramec college student. Mallory is black. The crimes were unprovoked and malicious. My question is: why are the NAACP and Al Sharpton et al. not leading a demonstration against Mr. Mallory and the violent acts that he perpetrated, and the great harm he has done to two individuals, families and to potentially thousands of students? I know the answer: Those dogs can’t chase every ball. But why do they choose to chase only the balls thrown by non-blacks? I think Mark’s question (above)is legitimate. And I’d like to hear from someone who can rationalize this situation.

        • GMichaud

          So Mark I guess you have a large database you are drawing your comments from, or is it just speculation? I see both blacks and whites at demonstrations, I see demonstrations that are against violence in general and against specific problems, such as the demonstrations on South Grand against the knockout game.

          In the same vein, how many demonstrations do you see organized by whites when there is white against black crime?
          It is ridiculous, are you implying that African Americans don’t care about violence in the community at large? I’m guessing you live in some isolated white community somewhere, otherwise you would know there are many blacks who are just as appalled at the senseless violence in society as everyone else.

          • Mark

            I’m not saying that AA’s don’t care about violence in the community at large. But frankly, I haven’t seen much evidence to support that they do!. I’m saying that the big boy wannabe’s (Sharpton and the others) organize demonstrations ONLY WHEN THEY PERCEIVE THAT WHITES HAVE BEEN TOO AGGRESSIVE AGAINST BLACKS. JUST ONCE I’d like to see Sharpton, Jackson et al get behind a demonstration against the myriad of black on white crime incidents that fill our newspaper columns daily! JUST ONCE. The number of white-organized demonstrations has no bearing on the discussion, GMichaud, because typically Whites don’t demonstrate…..and typically blacks don’t demonstrate unless they are also pursuing other ends. And, Yes, I do live in an isolated “white community” “somewhere”, which also has nothing to do with this discussion. If I lived at MLK and 25th Street, would that make my perceptions any more or less credible? I’d still like to know why blacks demonstrate only against perceived white on black crime. YOU HAVEN’T ADDRESSED THIS QUESTION.

          • GMichaud

            Whites don’t demonstrate, and blacks only do to pursue other ends. You’re too much. Your racial prejudice is similar to Mae, who is apparently your alter ego. Like Mae you pretend you have no prejudice but your comments indicate something much different. Instead of Sharpton and Jackson how about Limbaugh and Hannity, or I guess your standards apply only to your personnel prejudices?

            No doubt there are problems, America has some big ones, gun violence in America over 1000 killed per year vs countries like Japan with 10 or UK with I think it is around 30. All countries not in a war zone are much lower than America. America also has more prisoners than anywhere in the world, including the repressive regimes of Russia and China. So no doubt there are problems, it goes much deeper than black on white, white or black or green on blue crime.

            As I said I don’t want to condone any crimes or violence and as I pointed out above their are historical reasons that in part contribute to the problem. I also said that jobs and their availability are likely an important step in stabilizing society. Unlike Germany who has maintained a strong manufacturing base America policy makers have turned their backs on the needs of Americans.
            I don’t pretend to have answers and expecting me to come up with the cause of all demonstrations only indicates your overriding need to push your racial prejudice agenda in any form you can. I’m not going to play along.

            It is clear at this point you don’t have a clue. I’m not going to waste any more time in discussions with a bigot.

          • Me

            I think Mark’s questions are valid enough. Though the truth is people are stirred into action at different times and by different things. People need to stand up for what they believe in. It draws attention to the short comings of this nation and of humanity. We still have areas of improvement whether you be white, black, yellow, red, green… This story affected a lot of people because many people, myself included, believe that the court/law has failed. This trial did not end in justice. Many many crimes occur and more times than not they are met with justice. So media attention and black vs white or black on black crimes is not the issue. Any black man whether he kills another black, yellow, or green person is 100% all of the time, going to go to jail for a very very long time. The same is not true for any other race.

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