A march in remembrance of Trayvon Martin began at 3:30 today in the Fruitvale district as part of National Hoodie Day. Today marks the start of the Florida trial of George Zimmerman, the man charged with shooting Martin, 17, last February.
The rally started at the Fruitvale BART station — the same location where Oscar Grant was fatally shot in the back by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle in 2009. Like Martin, Grant was also unarmed at the time he was shot. Although Mehserle argued that he meant to fire his Taser at Grant instead of his gun, he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Zimmerman has admitted to shooting Martin, but he claims it was in self-defense. He is currently charged with second-degree murder.
D’Andre Teeter of the Bay Area chapter of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network said the cases have significant parallels.
“The Oscar Grant case is particularly important, because just like Trayvon Martin, Mehserle would not have been arrested or charged if not for the tremendous outpouring of anger around the country.”