AfterZimmerman arrest, weekend march and rally planned in Riviera Beach

Leaders want to send message, stop violence

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - The arrest of neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in connection with the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has renewed calls to end violence in Riviera Beach.

A group of community and religious leaders said they planned to march and rally on Sunday to elevate what they said was a much-needed conversation.

"We've got to make sure that our children are safe in every community," Mayor Thomas Masters said. "They should be able to walk the streets of Sanford [and] Riviera Beach and Palm Beach County without being shot [and] without being killed."

Masters and others questioned the delay in Zimmerman's arrest but praised State Attorney Angela Corey for accountability.

They also made a bold promise.

"It's time that we become proactive," said Bobby Powell, Junior, a member of the Palm Beach County Caucus of Black Elected Officials. "There are many things going on in the community that we need to be proactive about. We need to take a stand right now to make sure that we are proactive and our voices are heard."

Angered over what they said was an endless cycle of violence, the group offered a shared message.

"Our march on Sunday is beyond the Trayvon Martin case," said Patrick Franklin, president, Urban League of Palm Beach County. "We need to stop the violence here. And, not only in Riviera Beach, but across Palm Beach County."

The march was expected to begin at 4 p.m. at Hilltop Missionary Baptist Church in the 1200 block of West 30th Street.

A rally was expected to follow at 5 p.m.

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