Call to action issued at San Francisco vigil for Trayvon Martin

Rev. Amos Brown, president of the San Francisco NAACP, led the rally.

A group of African American community leaders gathered outside San Francisco City Hall July 16 for a rally and candlelight vigil in memory of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old black youth who was gunned down in Sanford, Florida by George Zimmerman. Protests have flared up throughout the nation since Zimmerman was acquitted on a second-degree murder charge this past weekend, spurring renewed dialogue about race.

Rev. Amos Brown, president of the San Francisco NAACP, introduced a host of speakers including pastors from black churches, the San Francisco Interfaith Council, members of the Bayview Hunters Point Community, and others. While speakers touched on a variety of topics including San Francisco’s dwindling black population and the economic pressures facing those unable to find work in an increasingly unaffordable city, much of the discussion revolved around a need to mount a significant challenge against racial profiling and to seek a different outcome in Zimmerman's case.

The NAACP “will use all of our legal and moral resources at the national level, and will push for a civil suit to bring this Zimmerman gentlemen to justice,” said Brown. The national NAACP has created a petition urging U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to open a civil rights case against Zimmerman.

Sups. London Breed, Malia Cohen, Jane Kim, and David Campos also delivered speeches at the rally.

“The injustice in Florida is a threat to all of us,” Breed said. “The injustice in Florida is a threat to African American boys. The fact that we have to look our children in the eye and explain why somebody can kill a kid and get away with it and not be charged and walk out of the courtroom a free man, how do you explain that?”

Rev. Malcolm Byrd, pastor of First A.M.E. Zion Church in San Francisco, illustrated his point about racial profiling by wearing a hoodie, jeans, and sneakers to the rally. He opened with comments referencing how Martin was deemed “suspicious” due to his appearance. His comments also alluded to the idea that Zimmerman was allowed to walk free in Florida, the same state where a woman was sentenced to three years in prison for shooting and killing a pit bull.

Despite the very real sense of outrage that many people expressed, some spoke about using the Zimmerman verdict as an opportunity to push for broader social change.

“In San Francisco, we know how to lead the way,” said LGBT activist Andrea Shorter. “On Sunday, every black church in this nation was talking about what? Trayvon Martin.” Shorter added that community members had succeeded in halting a proposal to introduce a stop-and-frisk policing policy that had the potential to increase racial profiling, and that there was momentum in place for a national effort to “dismantle racist profiling policies” and repeal stand-your-ground laws.

“For the first time in my life, after growing up and going to funeral after funeral after funeral after funeral, of all boys and black men throughout my life, I see people in this audience who are not African American, who are just as hurt as I am, who are just as sick of this as I am,” Breed noted. “And we are all in this together. We have got to work together if we want to change it.”

Cohen sounded a similar note. “I think one of the things that have transpired now that the verdict has come out is that there has been a serious call to action,” she said.

“Being black in America is to be the beneficiary of great inheritance,” said Obai Rambo of the San Francisco Black Young Democrats. “History will mark this day as one of the greatest opportunities for building equality and justice.”

Photographs by Justin Benttinen. Audio slideshow by Rebecca Bowe.


Lets put this in prospective, there is is no evidence of the confrontation being racial. The folks that are a members of that neighborhood watch are permitted to be armed, which leads to the question why a neighborhood watch in the first place, is it a dangerous neighborhood with lots of of crime? Are the members of this group stable enough to be armed?
Agree the verdict that was passed for taking a human life was wrong, most sane people can agree on this.Trayvon Martin is dead, George Zimmerman has been acquitted, and some people are outraged. Some politicians and activists are demanding a second prosecution of Zimmerman.. Others are blaming the tragedy on “Stand Your Ground” laws, which they insist must be repealed. Many who saw the case as proof of racism in the criminal justice system see the verdict as further confirmation...
Yesterday an 8 year old girl in Oakland was shot and killed two other small children wounded, guns in the hands of non stable people kill.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

The below was comment that I copied from an article about Oakland violence, TWELVE robberies a day, every day in Oakland!
Just TODAY an 8 year-old African-American girl killed, two children and a Grandmother injured by (certainly illegal) gun violence. FIFTY-FOURTH homicide of the year. FIFTY FOUR!

This is somehow the fault of the justice system? Or gun laws?

But y'all are worried about Trayvon. I guess that is a nice distraction from the failure of your own community. Good job.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 8:14 pm

"This is somehow the fault of the justice system? Or gun laws?"

Actually it's the fault of America's vicious cycle of poverty and vast inequality. And the lack of gun laws.

But you're comparing apples to oranges. Crime is one thing. When someone commits a crime against you, you're supposed to be able to turn to the law for help. It's much worse when the whole system is criminal. Where's the recourse then? Michael Vick did time for abusing dogs, and Zimmerman goes free after murdering a black child. When the criminal injustice system is telling you that the life of a black child is worth less than the life of a dog, that's just ugly and wrong.

But yes, I agree with you that we should get our house in order first. When conservatives wax poetic about human rights abuses in other countries, I like to say the same thing -we should get our house in order first.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 10:05 pm


Posted by juat gessy on Jul. 15, 2014 @ 4:10 pm

Only 12,an SFPD officer told me the other night in SF between 11:30 pm and 1 am there were 28 cell phone thief's all blacks robbing whites,where the justice for that.

and take out that line that he was GUNNED down,when it was self defence.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

Yawn......yawn.....where is the OUTRAGE about that young, innocent African-American CHILD who was murdered in Oakland last night? There is a payday here and a white shooter. That is the only reason these gents get out of bed and in front of the microphone. The commenter above had it right, about getting ones own house in order. A sad set of circumstances for America, not just the Martin family.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 9:51 pm

at 41 times the ate of white-on-black crime?

Continuing this victim mentality while being the aggressor most of the time is not viable.

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Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 8:08 am

Colour Amos Brown one of those hypocritical and sanctimonious Black people who cannot show moral outrage when a Black thug kills in cold blood two Asian-American women; when the Black community cannot show moral outrage when (most likely) a Black thug purposely and directly shooting into a house and accidentally killing an 8 year old girl and wounding 3 others.

The hypocrisy, and sanctimony, and moral bankruptcy of Amos Brown, John Burris, and the entire Black community grows tiresome.

Posted by StevenTorrey on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 7:38 am

me that they retain the acronym and it's reference to "colored" rather than tilt to PC'ness by changing it to the appalling "POC" acronym that makes me gag whenever I hear it.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 8:49 am

I am more angry with the man who prosecuted this case, then the case itself. The prosecutor showed little or no respect for the women jurors he was addressing. Every time I heard him speak, he was yelling at these women. I have five sisters and I can tell you that tactic don't work.

On the other hand, there was a Black female volunteer intern working on this case for the defense.

I am in inspired by this Black women who gave Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt all in the pursuit of justice.

When this young lady becomes a lawyer, I know she will represent the Black race well. Commonsense tells me she did not pick this situation for no other reason then educating herself. Well done sister, even though I did not like the verdict.

Where are the Black leaders calling on their rich Black friends to create foundations for more young Black men to pursue a law degree?

I think George Zimmerman is guilty of second degree murder for merely getting out of his vehicle, when commonsense told him not to.

However, I am not going to side with all who are demanding another investigation because they can't accept the realities of life.

Life was never meant to be fair, therefore, I recommend that we older Black men teach younger black men to stop looking for fairness and look for the challenge in life.

I have two nephews who would make great lawyers. I suggested it to one of them and we had little resources to help him. He got discouraged before he could get started and went another direction. Today, he lives with a bullet in his head as a result.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 9:07 am

San Francisco is probably one of the most non racist cities in America. Yes, certain types of people are profiled by the police in SF ask your self the question why?

Spend a little time and research the statistics on San Francisco's crime, who are the main offenders per-capita

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 9:26 am

It's not always about age, race or gender, altho there are correlations there and they do not show young black males in a favorable light. But it is about a look, an attitude and other aspects that LE intuitively determine.

The black community needs to fix itself first. Society does not pre-reward behavior.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 10:08 am

ability to divine facts and truth from scant evidence, but in practice they have very little advantage in that regard over others.

I (figuratively) spit on LE "intuition."

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 11:53 am

Although of course you'd be the first to call the cops for help if a bunch of black thugs were breaking into your house. You only like people like Grant and Martin in theory. In practice, you avoid them.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 9:30 pm

But white landlords have tried to illegally evict me and have legally evicted me through no fault of my own through unethical methods like fake OMI and Ellis Act.

Bunch of racists on this site, crying crocodile tears about "black on black" crime.

Any white person living in the US should thank his lucky stars that black people haven't slaughtered them in retaliation for their treatment, both past (slavery) and present (systemic, deep-rooted racism and inequality).

White people have killed more people than anyone--tens of millions through wars, colonialism, economic oppression--in just the last 100 years. Does that prove that white culture is inherently violent?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

the Whites ever arrived, When the Dutch and Spanish showed up, they bought what was on offer, which was people. There were never many slaves in Europe - just the various colonies.

Your idea that all black crime is justified simply because centuries ago a few Africa slaveowners sold them to some colonists really isn;t supported by anyone, not least the black themselves.

Oh, and OMI's and Ellis evictions are perfectly legal - that is why they are provided by law. Many SF landlords are Asian anyway, not white.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 11:22 pm

Slavery that existed before the white colonialists was different both in scale and in character. Comparing the two is like comparing the plight of the Jews in Czarist Russia, to the Nazi holocaust. You're essentially acting as an apologist for slavery. But at least you're not going as far as Lucretia once did, saying that blacks should be grateful to Europeans for their enslavement because it gave them the opportunity for a better life in America. Who knows, maybe you think it, but at least you have the good sense not to say it publicly.

In any case, the point you're responding to was a good one. The crimes committed by the mostly white establishment in power are far and away more damaging to the fabric of society than street crime committed by the underclass trying to survive in that system. There is no parallel to the bankers who destroyed the whole economy... the suited corporate thugs who wreck lives destroying jobs while concentrating wealth for themselves and killing us with industrial pollution... the Madoffs and the Ken Lays who leave widespread economic devastation in their wake... the corporate criminals running companies like BP and PG&E who leave real physical devastation in their wake... to say nothing of the blood-soaked generals and defense contractors who murder with impunity.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 20, 2013 @ 7:48 am

And Lilli happens to be 100% correct. Scientific studies have actually been conducted on this very topic for years. I remember reading about them as a student, and a google search just before making this post reveals fresh ones as late as 2012. And they all say the same thing -police officers' intuition about detecting truth is no better than chance.

You can love cops all you want and put all your trust in them. You're entitled to that opinion if it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. But you're not entitled to your own facts. The facts are, that your opinion has no basis in reality.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

have evry good instincts. But it's certainly experience. When you spend all day chasing down bad guys, you start to notice connections and correlations. Such as - not many old white women mug people.

Those experiences then enable more focused law enforcement going forward.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 11:24 pm

Because again, cops' instincts are no better than anybody else's. The research does find that cops are more *confident* about their instincts, but no more *accurate*. In other words, they think they're hot shit, but they're not.

What you are talking about is not instinct or intuition (which is essentially the same thing), but bias. They certainly do develop biases after years of working in an echo chamber where everybody thinks the same way as they do. Whether those biases are justified or not, is another matter.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 20, 2013 @ 7:31 am

Black males are responsible for over 50% of the violent crime in the city (while making up roughly 3% of the population). Of course people are going to develop a bias.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 20, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

The law, as well as any cop, should treat an innocent black man just like he would an innocent white grandmother. Because an innocent black man IS every bit as innocent as an innocent white grandmother. If he is unable to interact with people without letting his biases get in the way, then he doesn't belong on the force.

The other point is that we're getting off topic. The original comment had to do with cops' intutition vs. that of others. I agreed with lilli that it's no better, and you're actually bolstering my point with your line of argument. You seem to be just as confident of your intuition as the cops are, and you seem to arrive at the same conclusion. Now we may disagree about how innocent people should be treated. But that's actually beside the point. You seem to agree with cops that innocent people should be treated like dirt if they happen to be black males. But you're no cop, right? You believe that all black males should be presumed guilty, and cops seem to think that way too. Regardless of whether that view is emblematic of brilliant insight, or just emblematic of people who possess no soul, tell me how exactly is a cop's intuition better than that of some ordinary internet troll operating out of his mother's basement?

Posted by Greg on Jul. 20, 2013 @ 8:41 pm

If 60% of young black males commit some kind of crime, and only 6% of older white women commit a crime, then it is not "bias" for cops to regard the former group as more criminal than the latter group.

So if, for instance, the cops stop at random 100 young black males, they will have more success in finding drugs, weapon, stolen goods etc. than if they stop 100 white grandmothers.

There is no way around that, because that is what the stats say. What a good cop can do is WITHIN those classifications, they can up their success rate by looking at other factors as well. What makes no sense is your idea that they should ignore known markers and indicators of criminality

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 8:39 am

If your only value is finding contraband above all else, then maybe that's the way you should proceed. If you value freedom, justice, principles such as innocent until proven guilty and equal treatment under the law, then presumed innocent black men should be treated exactly the same as presumed innocent white grandmothers. So what if we find less contraband? We'll live in a more free and just society.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

goods to their rightful owners. And even you appear t admit that stopping and searching young black males is more effective at achieving that.

Cops go where the crime and the criminals are. Where else would you go?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

As conservatives are fond of saying, freedom isn't free. If living in a free country means accepting a certain amount of risk, or not catching as many criminals as you otherwise would, I'm comfortable with that.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 7:06 pm

crimes, because you like criminals, hate cops and probably think that all property is theft anyway.

Luckily for the rest of us, almost nobody thinks like you, and actually want criminals to be caught.

I'm perfectly happy to have some freedoms reduced as I have nothing to fear or hide.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 8:58 pm

In regards to that contraband you speak of, you make it sound as if cops are just going to find drugs. How about guns, knives, and stolen property (which they obtained by using those guns or knives)?

And guess who are going to most often be the victims of homicide committed by those Black males with guns? Other Black males.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

the most common victims of black crime. But he doesn't care about victims, only this alleged "freedom".

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Posted by Get England and Scotland Details at Wikipedia on Jul. 30, 2014 @ 10:39 pm

Pardon my ignorence what does LE stand for?

Posted by David Sloane on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

LE = Law Enforcement

LEO = Law Enforcement Officer

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

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Posted by GSA on Sep. 09, 2013 @ 2:36 am

'They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English. I can't even talk the way these people talk...

Why you ain't

Where you is

What he drive

Where he stay

Where he work

Who you be...

And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. ;< /SPAN>

And then I heard the father talk.

Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.

In fact, you will never get any kind of job making a decent living. People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education, and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around.

The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.

These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids. $500 sneakers for what??

And they won't spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.

I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit.

Where were you when he was 2??

Where were you when he was 12??

Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn't know that he had a pistol??

And where is the father?? Or, who is his father?

People putting their clothes on backward, isn't that a sign of something gone wrong?

People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn't that a sign of something?

Or, are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up?

Isn't it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body?

What part of Africa did this come from??

We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans. They don't know a thing about Africa .
With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap, and all of them are in jail.

Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person's problem.

We have got to take the neighborhood back.

People used to be ashamed. Today, a woman has eight children with eight different 'husbands' -- or men or whatever you call them now.

We have millionaire football players who cannot read.

We have million-dollar basketball players who can't write two paragraphs.

We, as black folks have to do a better job. Someone working at Wal- Mart with seven kids... you are hurting us.

We have to start holding each other to a higher standard.

We cannot blame the white people any longer.

- Dr. William Henry 'Bill' Cosby, Jr., Ed.D.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

Was I seen as promoting an anti-Semitic website? I think I made it clear that the site which I found at the top of the Google search hosting this quote from Cosby is one which misuses actual facts and true quotes for their own purposes and if I didn't emphasize that enough, I'm sorry; but I resent having my comment removed.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 20, 2013 @ 10:45 am

regarding the subject of racial separatism which Cosby seemed to be addressing?

I think it is worthy of consideration whether racial separatism is generally beneficial to society, or perhaps only beneficial to some: and who exactly -- and for what perhaps disparate reasons -- might make up that group.


Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

The onus of responsibility lies on the Black community. They have to pull up their pants--stop looking like they have bowel movement in their pants; they have to finish High School; speak proper English, stop selling drugs, stop being thugs, most especially give up their guns...

The statistics of gun violence speaks volumes. Of the 11,000 homicides how many are Black on Black violence? Of the 73,000 hospitalizations for gun fire, how many are Black on Black violence? (Rhetorical questions: the answer is well documented in statistical tables.)

Death by gunfire is the leading cause of death in the Black community for those between ages 15-25. Black people shooting other Black people. That is not a problem of racism; that is a problem of gun ownership giving people an opportunity to exercise the demonic.

There needs to be a major attitude adjustment from the Black community; stop feeding from the pulpit that America is a racist society would be a first step. No one pretends it is easy being Black in America. But blaming racism offers no solution; existential choices must be made from the Black community. And that ain't goinna happen soon--especially with morally bankrupt preachers and leaders like Amos Brown, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, John Burris, et al... who pander to race baiting because that is easier than stating the obvious...

Posted by StevenTorrey on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

Although some blacks disowned him for having the courage to tell the truth, preferring their victim status to continue.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 9:30 pm

I just watched the video attached to this article, Rev. Malcolm Byrd, pastor of First A.M.E. Zion Church in San Francisco is trying to turn the killing of Treyvon into something racial, he has an agenda, and he is using Trayvon's killing to forward it,
There is no proof that it was racial, even Trayvon's mum said its about violence not race.
I came across an article published yesterday in Fog City Journal by Ralph E. Stone
the following paragraph is from that article
But consider that during the FBI’s own investigation conducted last year, agents interviewed Zimmerman’s co-workers, neighbors, and other acquaintances, including his ex-fiancée, and found no evidence of racial bias. The FBI further reported that Zimmerman comes from a mixed-race family and does volunteer work helping underprivileged African-American children. Not only does he have black relatives, he has also donated his time tutoring black children.

Posted by David Sloane on Jul. 20, 2013 @ 11:02 am

These groups would lose their reason for existing. What would bay Guardian writers, San Francisco activists, City progressive politicians and outraged shouters have to do if they couldn't make everything about race.

Without their sweeping generalizations about "our culture" and "rich white people" "Christian(the wrong ones)" etc... their whole learned world view would fall apart.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 20, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

It's about class too.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 20, 2013 @ 8:43 pm

They invariably lead to hatred.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 8:36 am

...who keeps arguing that it's perfectly fine and proper for cops to make generalizations about black males, because they supposedly cause most of the crime (a generalization itself).

I've been arguing that this is precisely where we don't want generalizations- it's wrong for the law to treat people differently based on some people's biases about the group they belong to. That's basic stuff.

But there's also a time and place for generalizations. You have to recognize trends in order to change society for the better. If certain policies have the effect of say, increasing inequality, or causing more people of a certain race to be incarcerated, it's not useful to think of each incident as an isolated occurrence.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

fine to make generalizations about cops, christians, white people etc. but it's not OK to make generalizations about criminals, liberals and blacks?

How convenient for you.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

If you have an argument against what I said, then respond to that. I understand the temptation to make up a straw man version of my argument. It's easier to refute something you make up, but it's not what I said.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 9:18 pm

You made generalizations about what cops do, and yet claim that cops shouldn't make generalizations about what young black males do.

The simplest way for young black males to get less attention from police is for them to commit less crimes. Why do you never consider that option, but only that we should limit what cops can do to catch crooks?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 10:09 pm

Generalizations are bad unless a progressive does it.

A bad generalization, blacks commit more crime than other demographics.

A good generalization, whatever works for Greg today around race and class, no matter how far fetched.

Lets try an example

It's really hard for some people to take away from the Zimmerman episode that it might have been two morons crossing paths and it wasn't about race. To Greg the whole episode is about racism, those who don't agree with Greg are in general racists.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 10:39 pm

Any man, White, black, Hispanic....Had there head pounded against concete fearing their head may split open........would have done exactly what George Zimmerman did. I agree with the Jury.

Posted by Bill on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

Zimmerman beating him. Zimmerman was lucky to have a gun with him, or he'd be the dead guy now. And of course liberals would be baying for an acquitall, just like with OJ.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 9:00 pm