Trayvon Martin supporters: Violence is not the answer - KMSP-TV

Trayvon Martin supporters: Violence is not the answer

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ATLANTA -

A group of Travyon Martin supporters says they want people to know that no matter what the jury's decision is in the trial of George Zimmerman, violence is not a way to respond.

A Florida jury began deliberating the trial of Zimmerman on Friday. Jurors will decide if Zimmerman is guilty of second degree murder, manslaughter or acted in self-defense when he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year.

Community leaders, church members, parents and their children gathered at a "We are Trayvon Martin" Rally at the First Iconium Baptist Church on Friday.

Many at the rally believe the criminal justice system is skewed against young black men.

"We got to start relying on somebody else's system to give us justice, that it's not meant to do. It's not meant to give you justice it's meant to give you exactly what you're getting: a headache and heartache," said Muwuli Davis.

Atlanta and other metro police agencies say they've got plans in place in case of any disturbances following the Zimmerman verdict.

Author and attorney Lance LoRusso who wrote When Cops Kill: The Aftermath of a Critical Incident, is concerned about a fringe element hijacking peaceful protests.

"You always worry about people who are monopolizing the opportunity to cause some sort of a criminal act or take criminal action," LoRusso said.

Rally organizers say they're calling for non-violent protests so that whatever the Zimmerman verdict is, it can be the catalyst for change.

"If that verdict comes back not guilty, don't think that there won't be anger. There's going to be anger. How do you channel that anger," said First Iconium Baptist Church Pastor Timothy McDonald.

Organizers say if the verdict does come back not guilty and there is consternation, anger and potential violence in the community, they say they will reach out to young people who could be prone to act. They used the rally to put together volunteers to help mentor young people they say could fall through the cracks.

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