"Injustice for one, injustice for all."
That chant rose out of a diverse crowd of at least 100 people Saturday who rallied outside the federal courthouse in Lexington in response to the case involving Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.
On July 13, a Florida jury acquitted Zimmerman in the killing of Martin, 17, who was black. Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch leader who according to media reports identifies as Hispanic, claimed self-defense.
The Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network organized "Justice for Trayvon" rallies and vigils outside federal buildings in more than 100 cities on Saturday. The organization is calling on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate what group members describe as civil rights violations against Trayvon Martin, according to a press release on the network's website.
Astarré Gudiño, community relations coordinator for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission, said after the noon rally that she thinks the gathering made a difference to the people who attended. (The commission did not coordinate or sponsor the rally.)
"A lot of people came down today with heavy hearts, and when they left I think they felt excited and more empowered," Gudiño said. "I think that happened because of people coming together and having an open conversation about a ... topic such as race. It think that's good for all people, not just African American people."
Gina DeArth, a coordinator for Lexington's event, said one reason for the rally was to support Trayvon Martin's family and "to let them know we are standing in solidarity with them."
"We also want to see the case move to the federal level," De Arth said. "There's been no justice at all. There's no resolution. It's just been an empty feeling."
However, DeArth said, "There's so much unity here today. It was so positive. I think we are going to be successful at moving forward."
The Rev. Kenneth Golphin, chairman of the Lexington human rights commission, spoke to the crowd and afterward said that he did not agree with the Florida jury's verdict.
Golphin said Lexington should become an example for other communities in recognizing that "differences can help us grow.''
''Just because we don't all perceive the world from the same eyes, doesn't mean that we can't come together and enjoy each other's presence," Golphin said.
Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter:@vhspears