By Ben Fractenberg and Mary Johnson
MANHATTAN — Protesters packed into Union Square Wednesday evening for a rally in honor of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager who was gunned down by a neighborhood watch leader in Florida last month.
Martin's story grabbed headlines around the country because he was black and the alleged shooter, George Zimmerman, who is not, has not been arrested since the Feb. 26 shooting.
"I just want New York to know we're not going to stop until we get justice for Trayvon," said the slain teen's father, Tracy Martin. "George Zimmerman took his life for nothing."
Moments before Martin was shot in the chest in Sanford, Fla., the 17-year-old had purchased some Skittles and was on the phone with his girlfriend. He was not armed.
Reports have indicated that Zimmerman thought Martin seemed suspicious, in part because he was wearing a hoodie.
For that reason, the rally, which began about 6 p.m., was dubbed the "A Million Hoodies March for Trayvon Martin."
After the rally, people took to the streets, marching on 14th Street before turning north and winding through the streets somewhat haphazardly with marchers seeming to decide on the fly which way to direct the crowd.
There were no initial arrests, but the situation grew tense with cops as officers tried, unsuccessfully, to keep marchers on the sidewalk.
The rally was also meant to collect signatures for a petition, which Martin's parents started on Change.org, to encourage law enforcement officials to charge Zimmerman with murder.
More than 4,800 people have said they would attend on a Facebook page devoted to the march.