Trayvon Martin’s parents have been joined by celebrities, civil rights activists and protesters as they led rallies in new York and Florida to show their anger at the acquittal of the man who shot and killed their unarmed teenage son.
Sybrina Fulton led a rally in New York, along with veteran civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton, where she told the crowd that the picture painted of her son, Trayvon, during the trial depicted a man she did not recognise.
“He was a child,” she said during her speech to the hundreds-strong crowd.
Singers Jay Z and Beyonce also came out to the New York rally.
In Miami, a crowd singing the protest song “We Shall Overcome” joined Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin to demand that George Zimmerman, acquitted of second degree murder and manslaughter exactly a week ago, face civil charges.
Zimmerman has always maintained he shot Trayvon in self defence.
Reverend Sharpton has said protests were planned for more than 100 cities nationwide under the banner ‘Justice for Trayvon.’
Organisers have voiced hopes they will be peaceful, with no further outbreaks of the violence that led to arrests in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area earlier this week.
Speaking at the White House on Friday, Obama also cautioned against violence, as he urged all Americans to try to understand the Martin case from the perspective of African-Americans.
“There is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws,” the president said.
“A lot of African American boys are painted with a broad brush,” he said.
“If a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario … both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.”