SANFORD — The feet of marchers pounded the cracked pavement of Sanford's 13th Street — a road that runs through the heart of one of the oldest black communities in Florida — to reiterate that apathy won't be an option for those moved and outraged by the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager.
The Goldsboro community played host to a march and rally Saturday organized by the NAACP that brought together a coalition of national civil-rights organizers, community leaders, clergymen and droves of local residents who joined the chants demanding the arrest of George Zimmerman for Trayvon Martin's death.
The Rev. Al Sharpton came to a podium outside Sanford Police Department headquarters amid raucous cheers from many of the roughly 1,000 participants. But he revealed few details about a plan he unveiled Friday for economic sanctions to force authorities to arrest Zimmerman.
Instead, he talked generally about sanctions against corporations that support and fund stand-your-ground laws, but didn't name specific entities or outline strategies.
Everything is on the table for the nonviolent civil disobedience that could come in the coming days, he said.
It's an "American paradox that we can put a black man in the White House but we can't walk a black child through a gated area in Sanford, Florida," he said.
Ben Jealous, national president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said no one is calling for a boycott of local businesses.
Zimmerman, 28, has been in hiding since the shooting death of Trayvon, a Miami high school student, which has sparked international outcry and claims of racial profiling, vigilantism and selective policing.
Zimmerman, a Neighborhood Watch volunteer, shot Trayvon, during a one-on-one confrontation Feb. 26.
Zimmerman has not been charged. He has claimed he shot in self defense.
A special prosecutor has been assigned to the case and the U.S. Department of Justice has launched an investigation.
"We want an arrest. Shot in the chest," marchers said Saturday en route to Sanford Police Department headquarters. "I am Trayvon Martin."
Faces of all shades of humanity dotted the mile-long walk from Crooms Academy of Information Technology to the Sanford Police through Goldsboro, a community that was once the second all-black city in the state, until its charter was revoked in 1911.
Outside police headquarters, Jealous introduced Brenden Mitchell, a NAACP youth leader.
"I am 17 years old. I'm a high school student. I'm a young black man," Mitchell said in a fiery speech that moved the crowd. "I could be the next Trayvon Martin."Copyright © 2015, RedEye