"It's horrible, and it's tragic that this kid had to leave so young, but, he was like a martyr for change in America," Fat Joe, real name Joseph Cartagena, said to CBS News correspondent Jericka Dunn in the CBS Reports special "Trayvon Martin 10 Years Later".
George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, fatally shot Martin, 17, as he walked home from buying snacks at a convenience store near Sanford in Florida . Zimmerman claimed that he shot Martin, an unarmed teenager, in self-defense during a fight at the gated residential complex.
Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury of second-degree murder in Martin's killing. National protests and demands for justice erupted after Zimmerman was acquitted. Many wore hoodies that represented what Martin wore the night he died.
"For some reason injustice and other things have been happening in our community for a long time, but it felt like with Trayvon it was like, ‘We’re not going to do this anymore,'" Fat Joe said, wearing a hot pink hoodie. Everyone was closer and everyone was bonding. They would bond together if a loved one was killed by police brutality or injustice. Everyone was at a funeral together if they were with the same person.
He encouraged people to keep coming together to fight for change.
"People power. This is what creates awareness. "That's what attracts attention," Fat Joe said as he spoke about recent trials regarding the deaths of Ahmaud Abery, Daunte Wright and George Floyd.