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Expats support U.S. teen shot dead

Seoul expats are gathering together in hoodies on Thursday, to pay respects to American shooting victim Trayvon Martin.

The unarmed Florida teen was gunned down last month in a gated community. Now expats here are joining a global campaign for justice, as the gunman has not been arrested or charged.

Itaewon Open Mic, held at Bar Ireland Yuki every Thursday, is dedicating its show this week to 17-year-old Martin, who was killed on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Florida, and has asked all performers and attendees to wear hoodies to show solidarity with the movement worldwide and support to his family.

The event is being organized by Trayvon Martin International: Zimmerman Won’t Get Away! The group is made up of foreigners in Korea and from around the world, according to co-organizer Sarah Bellot, who is working with friend Heather Allen.

Martin was wearing a hoodie the night of his death as he walked home from a convenience store carrying candy and iced tea. The hoodie, and, campaigners argue, the fact that he was black, attracted the attention of George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch member who became suspicious of the teen.

After an altercation, Zimmerman shot Martin at close range with his licensed pistol, even though he was told by 911 operators to wait for police and to not approach the teen.

As of now, Zimmerman has not been arrested since he claimed self-defense. Police say they do not have enough evidence to charge the man and Florida’s self-defense law allows people to use deadly force if they believe their life is in danger.

“Heather and I really want the man responsible for the murder of Trayvon Martin arrested and convicted,” Bellot said. “By making this group we also want race relations in the U.S. and all over the world to get better.”

(ekalka@heraldcorp.com)
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