Trayvon Martin's death won't be "swept under the rug" by law enforcement. The slain 17-year-old's family, friends, elected leaders and an outraged nation are making sure of that.
The NAACP is calling for the ouster of Sanford, Fla., Police Chief Bill Lee, whose department declined to arrest the neighborhood watch captain who shot and killed Martin. The civil rights organization is also asking area residents to come forward with their stories of abuse at the hands of Sanford police officers, according to the Orlando Sentinel; the department's actions have reportedly been called into question at various times over the years.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida, who represents the district where Martin lived, stood on the House floor Tuesday and vowed to "announce to America how long justice for Trayvon Martin has been delayed" by counting off each passing day until an arrest is made in his death.
So far, it has been more than three weeks since Martin was gunned down in a gated community after returning from a convenience store at which he bought candy and an iced tea. He was talking to his 16-year-old girlfriend on his cellphone just moments before he was shot.
The neighborhood watch volunteer reportedly responsible, George Zimmerman, 28, has said he shot Martin in self-defense. Zimmerman wasn't arrested because police said they had no evidence to contradict his story.
Chants of "Arrest George Zimmerman now" will no doubt ring through a rally planned for Wednesday night in New York, underscoring how the case has been catapulted onto the national stage. Martin's parents are slated to be in attendance, according to the Associated Press
Rallies are also slated for Orlando, Fla., and Miami, and civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton is organizing a protest Thursday night at a Sanford-area church, CBS reports.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI are investigating the case, and a Seminole County grand jury will convene April 10 to hear evidence in Martin's slaying.
But Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the Martin family, said that such actions are not not sufficient -- that immediate action is needed. "The family worries that the more time passes it will be swept under the rug," he told a news conference Tuesday.
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