Many in the hip-hop and R&B community are up in arms about Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old boy who was shot and killed in his father’s gated community in Florida on Feb. 26. Martin was gunned down by an unregistered neighborhood watch member named George Zimmerman, who has yet to be charged.
Over a half million people have signed an online petition, which requests that Zimmerman be prosecuted for Martin’s murder. The petition, created by social action website Change.org, has been circulated by artists like Talib Kweli, Ghostface Killah,Janelle Monae, Wyclef Jean, Big Boi, Killer Mike and many more.
“I’m gonna keep sending this out until justice is served. Racial profiling on our people has got to end,” Janelle Monae tweeted, with a link to the online petition.
“This is real Trayvon martin was only 17 years old! if we let this slide they will keep killin 17 year olds your kid will be next!” wrote Wyclef. “Warriors lets go to work!”
Trayvon Martin was shot by Zimmerman as he walked home from a convenience store with a pack of Skittles and Iced Tea in his hand. He was on his way to continue watching the NBA All-Star Game.
Newly released 911 tapes from seven eyewitnesses at the scene paint Zimmerman, 28, as the aggressor, while the supposed neighborhood watchman’s own 911 call — one of 50 he made over the past year, mostly false alarms — appears to be the most condemning, as he sounds intoxicated, claiming the unarmed 17-year-old “a–hole” looked like he was “up to no good or on drugs or something.”
While Zimmerman has still yet to be charged, it appears that the hip-hop and R&B community’s outrage has at least provided some movement, as the investigation has been turned over to the Justice Department and the FBI, as a potential hate crime.