(NEW YORK) — The parents of Trayvon Martin are asking people to mark the one year anniversary of the teenager’s death by wearing hoodies during a candlelight vigil Tuesday night.
Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the teenager’s parents, and their lawyers will be hosting a Million Hoodies Candlelight Vigil in New York’s Union Square. They are asking supporters to join them “for a moment of silence in honor of Trayvon Martin and all victims of senseless gun violence.”
Communities around the country are expected to host similar events Tuesday night.
Trayvon, 17, was shot and killed while walking home unarmed on Feb. 26, 2012 in Sanford, Fla., from a deli near his father’s fiancee’s house.
George Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watch captain, has claimed the unarmed teen was acting suspicious and that he shot the teenager during a fight when Trayvon tried to get Zimmerman’s gun.
Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and pleaded not guilty. A central part of his defense, his lawyer has said, will be Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
Earlier this month, Zimmerman’s attorneys were denied a request to delay his murder trial, which is scheduled to begin in June.
The case ignited a national debate on gun control, race and Stand Your Ground laws.
Florida’s Stand Your Ground law grants immunity to anyone who uses deadly force, inside or outside his home, if he can reasonably claim he was defending himself. Florida passed the law in 2005 and there are 32 states with similar laws.
Some lawmakers and civil rights groups are in an ongoing fight to have the laws repealed or changed, but so far, none of them have been repealed.
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