Mourners, protestors gather for Trayvon Martin rally in Nashville

3:16 PM, Mar 24, 2012   |    comments
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About 600 people attended a Nashville rally calling for justice in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin at the base of Capital Hill on Saturday.

Most of the attendees were cloaked in hooded sweatshirts, but it was 17-year-old Michael Dunning who really stood out. At six feet, three inches tall, Dunning, a junior at Cane Ridge High School, towered over his mother, Tonya Dunning, and sister, Markia Dunning, 19.

He wore a plain gray hooded sweatshirt with dark-washed jeans and carried an Arizona-brand sweet tea in one hand and a bag of Skittles in the other. Trayvon Martin, who was shot in February while walking home from the store, carried the same two items at the time of the shooting, officials said.

"The fact that my son is the same age as this boy is just devastating for me," Tonya Dunning said. "This could easily have been my child."

The case of Trayvon Martin has fueled racial debates across the country. Many argue that the boy was shot because he was black and dressed in a certain way, wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Rallies, like the one held in Nashville, have popped up across the country calling for the arrest of Trayvon's alleged shooter, a neighborhood watchman. To date, he has not been charged.

Dunning, an Antioch native, said she'd been following the case since the very beginning. Her son, the youngest of her four children, has been following it too.

"She was really upset," Michael Dunning said of his mom. "I feel so bad about what happened. He didn't do nothing, it was like he was killed for no reason."

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