(CNN) — Faye Kennedy is organizing a rally on Saturday in Sacramento, California, despite a forecast of more than 100 degrees. She is urging people to bring water.
But she is determined that it will draw a good crowd as one of more than 100 cities nationwide marking “National Justice for Trayvon Day.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network said the goal of the rallies is to urge the Justice Department to consider a federal civil rights prosecution in the death of Trayvon Martin.
George Zimmerman, a Hispanic man, shot the African-American teenager on February 26, 2012. He claimed self-defense, and a Florida jury acquitted him July 13.
Zimmerman had a confrontation with Martin after calling police to report a suspicious person. The case became a flashpoint in debates over racial profiling.
Kennedy, who is active in the Sacramento Area Black Caucus, said she got an e-mail from Sharpton’s organization promoting Saturday’s event. She jumped in to organize a rally at the federal courthouse.
“I just got on the phone and e-mailed people I had worked with in the past. And people said, ‘I’m in,'” she said. “We’ve got people from the Occupy movement, we’ve got people from the free thinkers group, we’ve got lots of people.”
Kennedy heard President Barack Obama on Friday say it would be difficult to prove a federal civil rights violation in Martin’s case, although the Justice Department is reviewing the evidence.
The president encouraged more attention to racial profiling and “stand your ground” laws.
“We’ll encourage people to ask how we can end this ‘stand your ground’ law. It’s not good for anyone,” Kennedy said.
Saturday’s rallies will be headlined by Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, her surviving son, Jahvaris Fulton, and Sharpton in New York. Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, will appear at a rally in Miami.
By David Simpson, CNN