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Advocates In Union Square Demand Justice In Trayvon Martin Shooting

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TWC News: Advocates In Union Square Demand Justice In Trayvon Martin Shooting
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Thousands of demonstrators went to Manhattan's Union Square on Wednesday to join the parents of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, 17-year-old black teen shot to death in Florida, to demand that the boy's killer face criminal charges.

About 300 participants then marched to Times Square and others went to Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, where the Occupy Wall Street movement began in September.

Union Square still had a heavy police presence late Wednesday.

Martin was shot and killed in February near his Florida home by a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman says he shot the teen in self-defense and by Wednesday had not yet been charged. In Zimmerman's 911 call, he says he was following Martin right before the shooting even though the operator told him not to do so.

Since Martin was wearing a hoodie at the time, Wednesday night's event was called "A Million Hoodies For Trayvon Martin."

Martin's parents thanked the Union Square crowd for appearing and demanded their son's killer be put on trial.

"Trayvon was your typical teenager. Trayvon did typical teenager things. Trayvon was not, and I repeat, was not a bad person," said Tracy Martin, Travyon's father.

"Our son was not committing any crime. Our son is your son," said Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother. "I want you guys to stand up for justice and stand up for what's right. This is not about a black and white thing. This is about a 'right or wrong' thing — justice for Trayvon."

After an hour-and-a-half of speeches, the Union Square demonstrators poured into the streets and began their march.

"I want to see the man arrested. [Skittles are] what the boy had in his pocket," said one demonstrator. "He didn't have a gun, he didn't have a knife, he was just walking about his business. So justice means to me to arrest this gentleman, the man who shot him in cold blood."

"I have grandchildren. The thing is, you don't try to make things better for yourself. If that was the case, then the world wouldn't be very good," said another.

"There's a lot of hate and a lot of discrimination, whether their sexuality, their race, their religion and it needs to stop," said a third.

The group originally intended to march to the United Nations, but did not go further north than Times Square.

There was a slight confrontation with police at 14th Street and University Place, when the officers tried to push marchers out of the street and onto the sidewalk.

By 11 p.m. Wednesday no arrests had been made.

The case has ignited tension in the Orlando suburb and all across the nation.

The U.S. Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the case and the Seminole County State Attorney is convening a grand jury next month to review evidence.

Occupy Protesters, Police Still Clash In Union Square

The "Million Hoodie March" followed a tense day in Union Square, where Occupy Wall Street protesters were ordered out by police shortly after midnight Wednesday and then allowed back into the park at 6 a.m.

Police say at least four people were taken into custody Wednesday morning, along with six others who were arrested overnight.

The protesters knocked down barricades put up by police late Tuesday night.

Several people said they were hurt and supporters say police are getting increasingly aggressive in denying protesters access to parks and sidewalks.

The NYPD forcefully rejects the allegations of mistreatment in Union Square.

In a statement, Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said in part, "Their assertions are not true. Individuals who break existing laws face arrest or summonsing for doing so."

Meanwhile, the NYPD released on Wednesday surveillance video that they say shows a man pouring human waste in a Chase ATM vestibule in Lower Manhattan on March 14.

Police say that same night protestors also dumped human waste down stairs at a nearby public plaza.

Philadelphia resident Jordan Brooks Amos, 25, was arrested by police two days later.

A witness told police they saw his white van being used in the incident.

Amos was hit with multiple charges, including unlawful possession of noxious matter.

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