Civil Rights leader Al Sharpton, mourning the death of his mother who passed Thursday morning, has said he will plan her arrangements after a scheduled rally in Florida in support of Trayvon Martin.
The rally is scheduled for Thursday evening and will take place at Fort Mellon Park in downtown Sanford. The event is an effort to push for the arrest of George Zimmerman, a Hispanic neighborhood watch captain who claims he shot the 17-year-old African American boy in self-defense.
Zimmerman was discovered with the boy's dead body; he was wounded but carrying a gun. Officials confirmed that the boy was unarmed, however Zimmerman has not yet faced any charges, prompting widespread outrage and criticism.
Al Sharpton will meet with Martin's parents and U.S. Justice Department officials before Thursday's Florida rally. While Zimmerman has yet to be arrested, the case is being reviewed by the State Attorney's Office.
According to the Wall Street Journal, "Sharpton learned of his mother's death while boarding the flight to Florida Thursday morning."
Although some have shown surprise that Sharpton still has plans to attend the rally, Sharpton has stated that his actions would have been supported. "My MOM would have wanted me to," Sharpton tweeted after he boarded the plane.
Another protest occurred in New York last night, supported by Occupy Wall Street. Protesters have claimed that they will not stop until Zimmerman has been arrested. Martin's parents also attended the New York protest.
"George Zimmerman took Trayvon's life for nothing," the teenager's father, Tracy Martin, told the demonstrators. "Our son did not deserve to die. There's nothing that we can say that will bring him back, but I'm here today to assure that justice is served and that no other parents have to go through this again."
"Our son is your son," Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, told the crowd. "This is not about a black-and-white thing. This is about a right-and-wrong thing. Justice for Trayvon!"