Support for the Trayvon Martin family continues to grow even as accused killer George Zimmerman offered an apology during his recent bond hearing. (The Martin family considered the timing inappropriate, and Zimmerman's attorney later apologized.)
In Los Angeles, the Martin family (Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton), leaders from the NAACP, the National Action Network, Rainbow Push, SCLC, churches and other community organizations will host a rally at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ north campus at 3045 Crenshaw Blvd., tonight from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m.
Featured speakers and guests include the Rev. Al Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Jamaal Bryant, Magic Johnson, Ben Jealous and the Trayvon Martin family. There are also tentative confirmations from Stevie Wonder, Tom Joyner, Mary Mary, other celebrities and community organizations. The families of victims Oscar Grant, Kendrec McDade, Anthony Dunn and many others whose loved ones were unjustly killed at the hands of another are also expected to attend.
Unlike a recent protest in front of the White House this week in which 28 people were arrested, the rally is expected to be held without conflict. A spokesman for the U.S. Park Police, which serve the White House, said 27 were charged with failure to obey a lawful order. That order by officers was to disperse and not step on the sidewalk in front of the White House. Another person was charged with interfering with agency function.
In another aspect of the Martin case, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee who stepped down temporarily after heavy criticism over his mishandling of the case, tried to step down permanently this week but the Sanford City Commission voted against it 3-2.
Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett, who gave Lee a vote of no-confidence in March for his handling of Martin's killing, said on Monday that he wanted to wait for the dust to settle to make any lasting decisions about Lee's status.
City Manager Norton Bonaparte told commissioners that with Lee already temporarily sidelined, his resignation would allow Sanford to "move forward" after the national uproar over Martin's death.
"Is this something that can wait?" Triplett asked Bonaparte. "I'm not ready to have him [Lee] come back and run the police department yet," said Bonaparte, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel. "But I'm not ready for this [for him to step down permanently], either. I'd rather wait for the investigation."
Triplett was joined by commissioners Patty Mahany and Randy Jones in rejecting Lee's resignation.
In light of the tragedy, many in various African American communities have reached out to offer support to the Martin family, and this upcoming Mother's Day has been suggested as an opportunity to do so.
Huffington Post Black Voices has partnered with writer and activist Michaela Angela Davis for the For Sybrina [Fulton] Project that will become an outpouring of love and support for Martin's mother on Mother's Day, which is May 10.
They suggest that the public can honor Fulton with words of encouragement, poems, photographs, drawings, and by contributing to the For Sybrina Project. To do so, send cards:
*Directly to the For Sybrina Project Tumblr
*E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
*Share them on Twitter with the tag #4sybrina
*Share it on Instagram with the tag #4sybrina
Submissions will be shared on the For Sybrina Tumblr site. The contributions that stand out the most will be placed in a photo book that will be sent directly to Fulton.