Several hundred protesters marched through the streets of downtown Los Angeles Monday to urge Florida prosecutors to file charges in the death of Trayvon Martin. It was called the "Million Hoodie March," following a similar event in New York City.
Many L.A. protesters wore hoodies and called for justice, saying charges must be brought against the neighborhood watch volunteer, 28-year old George Zimmerman, who shot Martin.
"There are limitations to being a neighborhood watchmen," said Adelia Ruiz. "He shouldn't have had a gun on him. He didn't have the authority to pull it out. He should have stopped when the 911 officer told him to stop but he pursued him. If he hadn't pursed him, we wouldn't even be here."
Martin, an unarmed black 17-year old who was shot to death by Zimmerman, was wearing a hoodie as he walked home on a rainy night in a gated community. The incident has drawn national attention.
Zimmerman claimed he shot Martin in self-defense and has not been arrested. Because Martin was black and Zimmerman has a white father and Hispanic mother, the shooting has become a flashpoint on issues regarding race, as well as Florida's "stand your ground" gun laws. Civil rights leaders and others have been organizing a series of protests around the country against the shooting and its handling by Florida authorities.
Rally demonstrator Joshua Ham, a junior at Manuel Arts Senior High, compared the Florida shooting to the 1991 Los Angeles shooting death of Latasha Harlins.
"The lady got probation. This guy gets off free, no jail time, no nothing, no testing for drugs," he said. "No justice."
Protestors also called for the repeal of the 2005 Florida "Stand Your Ground Law." The state law allows people in "reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm" to use deadly force as self-protection in certain circumstances.
"At the very least this "Stand Your Ground" law will get some renewed scrutiny," said L.A. demonstrator Ron Holsey.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has announced a task force will be put together to review the state's self-defense law and to work on crime prevention.
Like others held around the country, Monday's rush-hour protest was timed to coincide with the one-month anniversary of Martin's death, KABC7 television reports. The march began at Los Angeles' Pershing Square and ended at City Hall.
This story has been updated.