'Justice for Trayvon' rallies draw Arizona crowds - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

'Justice for Trayvon' rallies draw Arizona crowds

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PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -

The push for civil rights charges against former neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman has drawn thousands of people to rallies across the country, including a pair of rallies in Arizona.

There were chants of "Tucson, we won't forget" by civil rights activists, religious leaders and college students who gathered early Saturday at El Presidio Park in Tucson.

In Phoenix, some carried signs that read "Our lives matter," and "No justice, no peace."

Despite temperatures nearing 100 degrees, more than 100 showed outside the Sandra Day O'Connor Court House. 

The rallies were named "Justice for Trayvon" vigils, but in Phoenix, protesters took on a more local focus.

"I showed up for him when he was living, and I will certainly show up for him in this type of tragic death," Rosalynd Akins said.

Akins wasn't talking about Trayvon Martin but her own son, Landan Stewart, who was shot and killed in south Phoenix in May.

"Trayvon, however, his case came to national attention; there's hundreds of Trayvons," Akins said. "I think they're just as important."

Her son was killed at age 24. Stewart was shot in his car with two baby daughters in the back seat.

"Trayvon Martin was just a way for us to voice what's been going on anyway," church pastor Michael Ballard said.

Ballard, along with others, are demanding a federal civil rights case as well as changes in the way murder trails are handled in Arizona.

While George Zimmerman was acquitted last week in the shooting death of Martin, about half of all murder cases in Phoenix don't even go to trial.

They remain unsolved, most without an arrest.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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