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Sharpton Plans Weekend Rallies For Civil Rights Charges In Trayvon Martin Case

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TWC News: Sharpton Plans Weekend Rallies For Civil Rights Charges In Trayvon Martin Case
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Protesting in Washington Tuesday, the Rev. Al Sharpton called for a "National Day of Justice" this weekend for the slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, to pressure the U.S. Department Of Justice to file federal civil rights charges against Martin's killer, George Zimmerman.

On Saturday, Zimmerman was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges by a six-person jury. Zimmerman had claimed he shot Martin, who was unarmed, out of self-defense.

At a Washington news conference outside the Justice Department Tuesday, Sharpton said vigils and rallies will take place in 100 cities this weekend. He did not say which cities would have the rallies, but said they would all be at federal buildings.

"On Saturday night with the verdict, we lost the battle. But the war is not over and we intend to fight," Sharpton said. "Let me say before we open up that we urge all that participate with us to do so nonviolently and peacefully. "

Supporters of Trayvon Martin's family held another protest and vigil Tuesday night.

About a dozen people gathered in Washington Heights to voice their anger over the not guilty verdict.

They said it's important for the protests to continue.

"If we don't stand against it now, then when will we? When another man, another woman is killed or brutalized?" said Claudia de la Cruz of Urban Butterflies.

Another rally was held in Union Square Monday night, where about 100 protesters took to the steps of the federal courthouse in Foley Square to demand federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman.

Meanwhile, speaking Tuesday before the NAACP in Washington, D.C., U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder expressed concern over self-defense gun rights measures like Florida's so-called Stand Your Ground law.

Holder told the civil rights group, "It's time to question laws that senselessly expand self-defense," and said the Justice Department has an open investigation of the Martin shooting.

He also said that Martin's death "provides an opportunity to honestly and openly discuss complicated and emotionally charged issues," including the interaction between law enforcement officials and people of color.

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