Trayvon Martin Shooting Inspires Celebrities to Speak Out

Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watchman near his home in a Sanford, Fla., gated community nearly a month ago, has inspired celebrities to call for the prosecution of his killer.

George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watchman who admittedly killed Martin out of what he says was self defense on Feb 26, was never charged for the fatal shooting of the young man. In turn, Martin's family has put together a petition to call on Florida's 18th District State's Attorney, Norman Wolfinger, to investigate the killing.

A few celebrities have started to speak out about teen's case, asking people to sign the petition.

Russell Simmons, founder of the Def Jam music label, tweeted that Martin's death could help create a better national understanding and urged people to begin speaking about it and signing the petition.

"Trayvon Martin didn't die so we can create a race war, he died so we can promote better understanding," Simmons tweeted. "We must start honest dialogue…(please) join our Facebook page as we seek justice for Trayvon Martin."

Janelle Monae, also tweeted the link to the website where the petition is featured while writing, "Trayvon was murdered in his own father's gated community."

Taraji P. Henson, Academy Award-nominated actress, also expressed her frustration about the matter on Twitter. The actress said the situation made her fear for the life of her own son.

"When I think about Trayvon Martin I can not help but worry about my own son! I am so sad and angry right now," Henson tweeted. "Have been all day actually. And what kind of MONSTER can look into the eyes of a child begging for his life and still shoot him in cold blood!"

Henson's tweet came after the release of a 911 call made by a neighbor witnessing Zimmerman shooting Martin, who was unarmed. Martin's parents maintained that the shooting and unwillingness to move forward with an investigation stemmed from racism, due to the fact that Zimmerman is a white male while Martin was black.

Monica Brown, chart-topping singer and wife of NBA player Shannon Brown, took to her Twitter to ask people to pray for the Martin family.

"Please say a prayer and sign petition for the family of Trayvon Martin," she tweeted. "Justice must be served, this family needs our support. #strengthinnumbers."

At press time, 376,297 people signed the petition on