Nationwide rallies demand 'Justice for Trayvon'

Jay-Z, Beyoncé attend NYC rally
Jay-Z, Beyoncé attend NYC rally

    JUST WATCHED

    Jay-Z, Beyoncé attend NYC rally

MUST WATCH

Jay-Z, Beyoncé attend NYC rally 03:30

Story highlights

  • Obama's comments "touched our heart," says Tracy Martin
  • "God is healing my heart," says Trayvon Martin's mother
  • "It sends a message to the nation," says Trayvon Martin's father

The parents of Trayvon Martin joined thousands of Americans at more than 100 scheduled vigils in cities nationwide demanding Saturday what they described as justice for their 17-year-old son, who was shot dead last year.

"It's overwhelming," Tracy Martin told CNN at a rally in Miami attended by hundreds of supporters, many of whom chanted, "No Peace! No Justice!"

"It sends a message to the nation that we're not going to sit back and let our children be killed and don't say anything about it."

Surveying the crowd, he said, "This is what keeps us going -- all of these people that are out here to support us: white, black, brown. There's a mixture of people. Everybody is out to support not only Trayvon, but their children as well."

Last week, a jury in Sanford, Florida, found neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder in the 2012 killing outside Tracy Martin's house. Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, said he fired in self defense after Trayvon Martin attacked him. The unarmed teen was carrying a soda and a bag of candy.

On Friday, President Barack Obama said Trayvon Martin "could have been my son ... could have been me, 35 years ago."

Was Obama's speech on race historical?
Was Obama's speech on race historical?

    JUST WATCHED

    Was Obama's speech on race historical?

MUST WATCH

Was Obama's speech on race historical? 05:19
Obama's friend: Perspective is powerful
Obama's friend: Perspective is powerful

    JUST WATCHED

    Obama's friend: Perspective is powerful

MUST WATCH

Obama's friend: Perspective is powerful 03:33

He also encouraged more attention to racial profiling and "stand your ground" laws.

Obama: 'Trayvon Martin could have been me'

Tracy Martin said Saturday the president's remarks "touched our heart."

"We admire the president for stepping up and doing that because it sends a message to the world that this could have been anybody's child and there's no exceptions as to whose child it could have been," he said. "We have to do something to corral the senseless violence."

Martin predicted he would never recover from the death, but said, "We're moving forward now."

Trayvon's dad: I partly blame myself
Trayvon's dad: I partly blame myself

    JUST WATCHED

    Trayvon's dad: I partly blame myself

MUST WATCH

Trayvon's dad: I partly blame myself 02:34

During his remarks to the crowd, Martin teared up, saying about his son, "He did nothing wrong and we're not going to let them persecute him the way that they have."

In New York, Trayvon Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton was to be joined by her surviving son Jahvaris Fulton and the Rev. Al Sharpton. "God is healing my heart this very moment," Sybrina Fulton said in a tweet. "But as I watch so many people come together, he reminds me that we have a lot of work to do."

Sharpton and the National Action Network are urging the Justice Department to consider criminal civil rights charges against Zimmerman.

In Los Angeles, where violence broke out after the verdict in Zimmerman's favor, the tone was upbeat and peaceful on Saturday. Hundreds of people had assembled by 9 a.m. outside the federal courthouse to underscore their message "that, as a community, we need to come together and we need to support justice for Trayvon," said Donna Wade, one of the demonstrators. "That we need to do it in a peaceful manner."

Are you at a rally? Share photos, video