As the world has watched violent protests in Ferguson, Mo. after a police officer fatally shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the parents of Trayvon Martin will join Brown's family at a peace rally this weekend.
Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the parents of the 17-year-old Miami Gardens teen shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in 2012, are expected to take part in the 2014 Peace Rally in St. Louis on Sunday.
Fulton wrote a letter to Brown's family that was published on Time magazine's website earlier this week.
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- Sanford, FL, United States
"Your circle will necessarily close tighter because the trust you once, if ever had, in 'the system' and their agents are forever changed," Fulton wrote. "Your lives are forever changed ... I know this because I lived and continue to live this."
Since the Aug. 9 shooting in Ferguson, protesters have taken to the streets calling for charges to be filed against police officer Darren Wilson who shot Brown six times. The protests have resulted in clashes with police, dozens of arrests, looting, fires and a military presence in the St. Louis suburb.
Community activists have been working to quell the violence and get the "instigators" who they claim are from other states out of their town. Over the last few days, the protests have remained fairly peaceful in the community.
Details about how and why the shooting happened are still relatively unclear. Witness accounts and details from Wilson's friend who has been in contact with the officer provide varying descriptions of what happened. A grand jury started looking at evidence in the case on Wednesday to determine if charges should be filed against Wilson; that decision could take several weeks.
Benjamin Crump, the Tallahassee attorney who represented Trayvon's family and now represents Brown's family, has called Brown's killing a "very troubling" execution.
Legal analysts continue to discuss the parallels between the shooting deaths of the unarmed teenagers in Sanford and Ferguson.
Trayvon was unarmed when he was shot by Zimmerman on Feb. 26, 2012. Sanford police didn't initially charge Zimmerman claiming there wasn't enough evidence to justify criminal charges -- which sparked weeks of protests and marches in Sanford and across the country.
Zimmerman was eventually charged in Trayvon's death, but he was acquitted of second-degree murder by a Seminole County jury July 13, 2013. Zimmerman's acquittal also set off protests around the country.
The night of the shooting, Zimmerman called police after seeing Trayvon walking through his neighborhood, described him as suspicious, then got out of his truck and followed him on foot. Zimmerman told the cops he shot Trayvon after the teenager knocked him to the ground with a punch to the nose, then climbed on top and began hammering his head into the sidewalk.
Within days of the verdict, Zimmerman's gun and other pieces of evidence, including Trayvon's clothes and the bag of Skittles found in his pocket, were turned over to the FBI for the civil-rights investigation.
The Department of Justice continues its investigation into whether Trayvon's civil rights were violated.
Rene Stutzman and Desiree Stennett contributed to this report.