By Brad Choat

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Reaction to the “not guilty” verdict in the recent George Zimmerman trial in Florida continues in the St. Louis area.

A group of Saint Louisans will rally Saturday night in memory of Trayvon Martin, who Zimmerman shot to death.

The event begins at 5 p.m. at the Blank Space business on Cherokee Street.

Rally organizer Alex Sims says a large portion of the event will be dedicated to taking action against racial profiling and gun violence.

The plan is to make phone calls, use social media and canvass neighborhoods to get the attention of Congress and police.

Sims says they will briefly speak of the “not guilty” verdict in the Zimmerman trial, before reaching out to local members of Congress about gun control and the local police about changing police tactics.

“[We want to] prevent profiling from happening in St. Louis city,” she says. “We want some kind of system created in the police department for that.”

Speakers at the event will include St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, spoken word artist Corey Black and hip-hop artist Tef Poe.

Sims says anyone is invited to take part in the event.

Another rally and march will take place at 5 p.m. in East St. Louis near the Board of Education building on State Street, as part of National Day of Action.

Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, graduated from high school in East St. Louis in 1986.

Three childhood friends of Tracy Martin organized the march including Raymound House, who says they want federal charges filed against George Zimmerman.

“It’s easy to say ‘accept the verdict’ when it goes your way, but I think this is a victory for prejudice and it is a black-eye for justice,” House says.

House says this case had everything to do with race.

“I would say it is about race, it’s about the human race and unfortunately there’s bias,” he says. “We all have bias. I think that if Trayvon Martin had been a white person, that he would not of been shot.”

House added that the other message he hopes to get across is to stop violence in communities like East St. Louis, but adds that it will take more than just words. He says it will likely take increasing employment, investing in education and keeping fathers in the home to really bring that message home.


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