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Trayvon Martin’s Parents Host Civil Rights Rally In South LA

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Al Sharpton was one of the dignitaries attending a civil rights rally in Los Angeles Thursday. (credit: CBS)

Al Sharpton was one of the dignitaries attending a civil rights rally in Los Angeles Thursday. (credit: CBS)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A rally featuring civil rights activists, popular entertainers and politicians was held at a Los Angeles church Thursday to mark the two-month anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death.

The rally started at 5:30 p.m. at the West Los Angeles Church in Christ at 3045 Crenshaw Boulevard and was attended by the Martin family, NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, the Rev. Al Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Bishop Charles Blake, who preaches at the church.

Several celebrities also attended including hip hop artist David Banner, Paul Rodriguez and radio host Big Boy.

The rally is being held in part to “advocate for crime victims …, educate young people on conflict resolution techniques (and) increase public awareness against all forms of profiling,” the NAACP said in a statement.

The Martin family also held the rally in support of Kendrec McDade, shot and killed by Pasadena police last month. A 911 caller told dispatchers McDade had a gun.

McDade, like Martin, was unarmed. Killed in cold blood.

KCAL9 and CBS2 reporter Amanda Burden attended the rally.

Jesse Jackson addressed the crowd by saying, “From Rodney King to Trayvon Martin, the killings continue and the beatings continue.”

Al Sharpton was also pointed. “What kind of world are we living in? What kind of nation are we living in…if we can put a black man in the White House but we can’t walk a black teenager through a gated community in Sanford, Florida.”

Sharpton and Jackson both criticized gang violence, guns, racial profiling and controversial “Stand your Ground” laws.

McDade’s father, Kenneth, said: “A few weeks ago, I was afraid of police, too. But they took something from me. It makes me want to stand up and give them a piece of my mind.”

Comedian Paul Rodriguez took a rare somber tone. “I’m tired of going to funerals. Aren’t you? There is no reason why young men in their teens should be dead. The ‘Stand your Ground’ law only puts black or brown men under the ground.”

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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