NEWBURGH – Unity was the message at a vigil and march for Trayvon Martin in Newburgh Monday night. Fifty people, residents and members of Community Voices Heard and the NAACP, gathered to protest George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the murder of the Florida teenager.
“From this day forward,” community activist Beatrice Harris said, “we have to stand together as ‘the people’.”
The gatherers listen to speeches by members of the community and held signs reading ‘I am Emmitt Till’ an African American boy killed in 1956, and ‘I am Jordan Davis’, a 17-year-old African American boy from Jacksonville Fl. who was killed by a white man in November 2012.
The group then marched to City Hall where Councilwoman Gay Lee spoke to the crowd about Trayvon Martin and Florida’s laws and then brought it home to Newburgh’s policies.
“What we did,” Lee said, “we asked for an investigation, not of the police but of the police policies, because you’ve got to look at what gives people the permission to do what they do.”
Releasing the finding of the investigation was one of the demands made by community members to the City Council.
Democratic Orange County district attorney candidate Michael Isgur called for community policing.
“What we need to do is get the police out there to meet you, to know you, to be in the community, so they know the people, they know who the good guys are and they know who the bad guys are that need to be locked up,” Isgur said.
At the City Council meeting, Mayor Judy Kennedy recognized the marchers for their passion and called upon the US attorney general to persuade civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.