Hundreds gathered at the Tennessee State Capitol Saturday as outrage over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin spread to Nashville.
The unarmed 17-year-old was shot to death in Sanford, Florida by a neighborhood watch volunteer in late February.
The shooter, George Zimmerman, claimed self-defense and was not charged.
“Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere, so I came out here to support,” said Meshia Sandifer, who attended the rally.
The incident sparked a national debate over racial profiling and deadly force laws.
Rally attendee Michael Watts told Nashville's News 2 he is hopeful rallies like Saturday's will prompt a change in laws although he's doubtful racial profiling will stop.
“We're almost used to blacks being treated like this,” Watts said.
Most of the attendees Saturday were dressed in hooded sweatshirts, just as Martin was the night he was shot and many carried Skittles and iced tea.
Watts said he believes the story would have unfolded very differently if Martin were white.
“He would still be alive. [Zimmerman] would not have even thought he was suspicious looking,” he said.
A Florida grand jury is scheduled to convene April 10 to look into the case.
Tennessee has a law similar to Florida's “Stand Your Ground” law.
An individual may use deadly force when they have reasonable belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.
- March 20, 2012: Fla. shooting puts Tennessee gun laws in spotlight