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Clearwater Trayvon Martin candlelight vigil held | News

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Clearwater Trayvon Martin candlelight vigil held

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Dozens of people gathered Sunday in Clearwater for a candlelight vigil for justice for Trayvon Martin. It was part of a larger event to kickoff National Crime Victim's Rights Week.

For one community leader, the event took on a whole new meaning. Ray Tampa, former president of the St. Petersburg NAACP, has worked throughout the years to seek justice for victims. Just weeks ago, his family became one. His 24-year-old niece, Tamika Mack, was shot and killed during a St. Petersburg home invasion on Easter.

So on Sunday, as Tampa spoke at the Springtime Club to bring awareness to crime victim's rights, it was even more personal. "We need to try and get ahold on the type of criminal behavior in our communities that is embarrassing, it's ridiculous, and it's devastating," said Tampa.

The focus of this event was the death of teenager Trayvon Martin, shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford. At the vigil, the crowd held candles for Trayvon and the community's growing concern for victims rights and civil liberties.

"He has brought a level of awareness to these types of vicious and violent crimes in the community," said Springtime Club founder Yolanda Cowart.

But leaders and lawmakers say efforts need to start right at home in the Bay Area. "Where's the outrage?" asked State Representative Darryl Rouson, who also spoke at the event. "We've got a lot of work to do."

Work that includes communities standing up and speaking out.

"People are being victimized and we need to let these people know that we stand with them," said Tampa.

Tampa added that it will take effort from law enforcement and the community, both working together. Organizers hope this event will lead to many others, so people can come together.

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