Beyonce Asks for a Moment of Silence During Show for Trayvon Martin
As celebrities took to Twitter to express their shock and disappointment over the Trayvon Martin case verdict on Saturday, July 13, in which George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder and was acquitted of manslaughter, Beyonce took a moment to remember the 17-year-old Florida native who was fatally shot.
(During the Feb. 26 altercation, Zimmerman, 29, a neighborhood watch volunteer, claimed he shot Martin in self-defense after the youth, who was unarmed, knocked him to the ground, punched him, and slammed his head against the sidewalk. The fatal shooting sparked a heated debate about racial profiling around the country.)
At the singer's Mrs. Carter Show World Tour stop in Nashville on July 13 -- which started about 30 minutes after the verdict was reached -- the 31-year-old gave a powerful tribute to the late teen, telling the crowd, "I'd like to have a moment of silence for Trayvon." As the lights went dark, she sung the chorus of "I Will Always Love You" before singing her own song "Halo.
Beyonce wasn't the only Knowles family member to speak out following the verdict, as her little sister, Solange, organized a peaceful protest in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Sunday, July 14, to fight for justice in Martin's honor.
"We have to somehow turn this anger & pain into peaceful productivity," the 27-year-old tweeted following the verdict. "Our voices have to be heard & we have to do the work!!! Is this not what our ancestors, grandfathers and fathers fought for."
After the rally, Solange wrote to her followers, "Thank you to everyone who came out to support Brooklyn 4 Trayvon rally! This was just a start to a long journey of justice and equality!"
Following the verdict and public outcry for justice, President Barack Obama also released a statement, telling the nation that Martin's death was a tragedy for America. "The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America," the POTUS wrote. "I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher.”
The president continued, “But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son … We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin."