Hundreds of sign-toting Palm Beach County residents took to the streets of Riviera Beach Sunday afternoon to protest violence against children in the wake of Trayvon Martin's murder and the shooting of a local 12-year-old girl Tuesday.
Photographer: Brandon Kruse, The Palm Beach Post
RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - Hundreds marched, blocking off roads and moving throughout a Riviera Beach neighborhood with their sights set on ending violence on Sunday outside Hilltop Baptist Church.
The march was originally organized out of frustration due to the lack of an arrest in the Trayvon Martin shooting. With George Zimmerman now arrested and charged, the march on Sunday went down a different path.
"Stopping the violence. I mean although he got arrested, it took a little time to arrest him, but we still got to stop the violence," said Teddy Solomom, a Riviera Beach resident.
With Trayvon Martin in the back of their heads, hundreds hit the pavement for their own young people who are victims of violence. The man focus was on the 12-year-old girl who just days ago was shot feet away from the church where the march surrounded.
"I'm ashamed of the fact that a 12-year-old little girl was shot right down the street. I've had enough," said Mayor Thomas Masters with the City of Riviera Beach.
The frustration could be seen on the shirts of many marchers who wore clothing with the slogan, "Caught in the Crossfire." It was a reference to the girl who was shot feet away from Hilltop Baptist Church. The victim's mom, who did not want her name used, spoke out for the first time exclusively to WPTV News Channel 5.
"She has pulled through and I appreciate everyone. Everything that everyone has done for me and my family," said the victim's mother.
Marchers said they could feel the strength of support, but recognized Riviera Beach has work to do.
"That just shows that there need a change, we need to change our streets and we need to clean our streets up," said Dionco Bedford, a Riviera Beach resident.
Most of the marcher also said they marched on Sunday in part because an arrest in the Trayvon Martin case doesn't mean justice is served.
Organizers of the latest march said until justice is fully served and until they see change in the community, more marches will happen to help stop the violence.
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