Protesters rev motorcycles for Trayvon Martin

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Motorcyclists ride for Trayvon Martin

More than 700 protesters gathered at the State Capitol on Sunday afternoon to ask the Department of Justice to file charges against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

More than 700 motorcyclists rode from the Sams’ Club on Turner Hill Road in Lithonia to the Capitol to join in the rally, which began at 2 p.m. The bikers roared down Washington Street in front of the Capitol at about 2:15 p.m.

“We want to support the Trayvon Martin movement,” biker Rick Hamilton, from Florida, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He said Martin “represents a slew of other African-Americans” who have been denied justice.

“It’s good that we see peaceful protests,” he said.

Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, was found not guilty on July 13 in the 2012 death of 17-year-old Martin in Sanford, Fla., after Zimmerman’s attorneys argued that he shot Martin out of self-defense while the unarmed black teenager was beating him up.

This latest Martin rally was organized by the NAACP and featured Georgia State Conference NAACP President Edward O. DuBose, members of the Trained to Go Motorcycle Club and Derrick Boazman, host of “Too Much Truth.”

Motorcycle club president Charles Ingram said the biking group has been following the Zimmerman case since the beginning and that the bikers were passionate to show their distaste of the verdict.

“We had to cut [the number of riders] off [at 700],” he said. “Everybody was still coming trying to participate in the ride.”

At one point, the protesters chanted, “We want justice” and “We are Trayvon.”

DuBose spoke at the rally in between chants and urged the community to ban together against the kind of violence he said was allowed in the Zimmerman case.

He told the AJC that if the lawmakers don’t want to change the law, people need to work to change the lawmakers.

“We want George Zimmerman prosecuted,” he said. “This is about justice. I’m passionate. I’m emotional.”

The group hoped to convince the Department of Justice to file federal charges against Zimmerman — including civil rights charges.

There have been more than 100 rallies across the country protesting the verdict, the AJC previously reported.

More than 75 people gathered for a Martin rally in Marietta on Saturday that had been rescheduled due to inclement weather the previous week. Thousands of people took to the streets of downtown Atlanta to rally on July 20.

Gia St. Cyr with Bethesda Ministries attended the Marietta rally and was at Sunday’s event in Atlanta. She said she hopes the rally focuses attention on the crime problem and that people come together to protect young people of all races.

“Nothing gets done without prayer,” she said. “We have to pray.”