Standing in the bright sunshine right outside Carson City Hall, a group of church and Nation of Islam leaders asked a crowd of about 75 to hold hands.
“We pray for the family of Trayvon Martin,” a young pastor said, “we pray for justice, and we pray for Kendrec McDade.”
Comparisons between the two victims – both unarmed, young black men shot and killed in error – have become common. Seventeen year-old Martin was shot by a neighborhood watchman in Florida five weeks ago. McDade, a 19-year-old, was shot and killed by Pasadena police following a 911 call that falsely reported he was armed.
“It’s happening right in our backyard, but it’s been happening," said Michael Fisher, a pastor with Greater Zion Church Family in Compton. "What happened with Trayvon Martin is kind of like when someone has been sick for a while but then they get a really bad cough. It’s just the symptom that we notice. But the deeper issue is that we have to get back to a place where we value life. So what happened in Florida, also what happened in Pasadena, we’re standing and saying, that cannot happen anymore. No more loss of life, because we’re hurting.”
McDade’s family could not attend the rally, but his father and the family attorney joined by phone. Their comments were amplified for the crowd.
As people made their way back to the parking lot, they slipped cash into a cardboard box – the McDade family is seeking donations to pay for McDade’s funeral.