- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A rally held last weekend in honor of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin drew citizens from around Charles County, who marched to preserve the boy’s memory.
The Rev. Thirkel Freeman, pastor of True Gospel Church Ministry in Waldorf, organized the rally in conjunction with a request from the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, which asked groups to host rallies in honor of Martin on Saturday. Freeman’s rally was one of more than 100 held nationwide, he said.
Martin was shot and killed by Sanford, Fla., resident George Zimmerman in February 2012, provoking a national outcry. Earlier this month, Zimmerman was found not guilty on charges of second-degree murder.
“It was very successful,” Freeman said of the rally, which he estimated drew more than 150 people. “It was brought to my attention that on the other side of the [St. Charles Towne Center] parking lot, there was a group of about 15 people ... holding their own rally, in protest of ours, waving Confederate flags. But we never saw them. My focus was on what we were doing, and we weren’t going to yield for the distraction.”
Freeman said he worked with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office to coordinate security for the event. As the protestors marched around the mall circle, Freeman said, people parked their cars to get out and join the march.
“It was a perfect peaceful rally with no incidents. Mission accomplished,” Freeman said. “It was a day in Charles County that nobody who participated will forget. I’m just so grateful for the outcome.”