MILWAUKEE — Upwards of 100 people showed up Tuesday evening for the “Coalition for Justice for Trayvon Martin and Bo Morrison” rally and march for justice Tuesday, April 10th.
The rally and march honored Martin, the 17-year-old Florida teenager who was shot by a neighborhood watch official, as well as 20-year-old Bo Morrison of Slinger. Morrison was shot by a Slinger homeowner as Morrison hid from police on the homeowner’s porch after an underage drinking party. “We’re here today in solidarity with Trayvon Martin and Bo Morrison’s family,” Brian Verdin said.
Martin and Morrison were both shot by people claiming self-defense. The “Castle Doctrine” in Wisconsin says homeowners can use deadly force if they feel threatened by an invader.
Morrison’s sister says she wants the “Castle Doctrine” law repealed.
“If we don’t stand for something, we will fall for anything. I completely appreciate all the support we’re getting and I just want to encourage people to stand up for what they believe in. We are the voice of Trayvon and Bo and unless we stand up, nothing’s gonna happen,” Kayla Morrison said.
Tuesday’s rally began at the Dr. King Memorial Statue at Dr. King Drive and Walnut Street. The rally was followed by a march to the Fifth District Police Station at 4th and Locust Street in downtown Milwaukee. Those rallying say they want to see Martin and Morrison’s shooters prosecuted, and want to see fair treatment for African-American victims and criminals. “Crime is color blind, and it’s everywhere. We want fair treatment of criminals and fair treatment in the criminal justice system. That’s all we’re asking for,” Doris Wellington said.
Those rallying Tuesday say the city of Milwaukee has deep-rooted racial problems. “Until racism is confronted, until there is a round-table discussion about racism, nothing is going to change, so hopefully this can be the beginning of a whole dialogue for us,” Maurice Jenkins said. “There’s a movement afoot in our city, and part of it is for justice. Certainly, we want justice for the black community and equality,” Gilbert Johnson said.
The group rallying Tuesday also called on Milwaukee police to create a civilian review board.
The Milwaukee Police Department did not comment on the rally Tuesday, but did say it already has a civilian board for police and fire in place. Its members are appointed by the mayor.
The Trayvon Martin case is dividing Americans. Depending on your background, a new poll shows everyone is picking a side in the case.
According to the poll by the Christian Science Monitor, twice as many black and Hispanic Americans think race played a role in the shooting – 73 to 36 percent.
Women think race played a role more than men – 51 to 37 percent.
Twice as many Democrats as Republicans think race played a role – 64 to 32 percent.
CLICK HERE for more on the Trayvon Martin case.
CLICK HERE for more on the Bo Morrison case.