DALLAS—Paul Quinn College is a historically black college in southeast Dallas. After the school president sent out a tweet inviting protesters to join a rally, the college became the site of a demonstration for more than 300 protesters Friday evening. They came out to demand the shooter who killed Florida teen, Trayvon Martin, be charged.
Paul Quinn president Michael Sorrell said, "We want to ask them to examine the laws. Let's change the legislation not just in Florida, but any state that has rules to allow Vigilantism to occur and the people who perpetrated the crime to go unchecked."
The school and sponsors handed out cases of Skittles candies. Many in attendance came armed with their own, packing signs to express their feelings. Roshandaline Rhodes says she fears for her son in light of Trayvon's death. Rhodes shared, "That's my one and only son, 19 years-old. So I just envisioned my son could have been that little boy."
James Williams, who has two young sons, says of the demonstration, "This could actually be my child one day. When it happens to an adult it's one thing. When it starts happening to children, that's a whole different issue. My children asked, they want to know why are people so mean. I couldn't answer."
Several speakers took to the podium, such as Texas State Senator Royce West (D) from the 23rd District who vowed to introduce a bill to have the gun of a person who uses deadly force, be taken while an investigation is underway.
Several protesters say they came out to show support for the dead teen's family, in hopes that the same tragedy does not fall on another life. Jonathan Patton and his friends sentiments are the same. Patton said, "We're performing cop watches, keeping and eye on police officers to make sure they're not violating the rights of citizens. And we're going around passing out fliers, letting people know where they can get educated on their rights, and educated on the system around them. The kid was shot for having a pack of skittles and wearing a hoodie. So we're here wearing our hoodies. It's not a crime to wear a hoodie and everyone's carrying packages of skittles around. You can't shoot someone because they have something in their hand."
After the rally, demonstrators marched around the campus demanding that Sanford, Florida Police Chief Bill Lee, temporarily stepped down amid criticism and demand for his resignation. The FBI and Justice Department are investigatIng the case. Next month, a grand jury will be convened if decide if the shooter, 28 year old George Zimmerman, should be charged.
Students at the University of Texas Arlington are also planning a similar demonstration for Monday morning at 11:00 on the UTA campus.