A handful of state lawmakers wore gray-hooded sweatshirts this morning at this morning's session, taking up the symbol of solidarity and protest that has sprung up around the country over the slaying of Trayvon Martin.
Sen. Curren Price, who gaveled the session to order, wore one of the hoodies over his suit jacket and tie. Other Democrats, including Juan Vargas, donned the sweatshirts bearing "In memory of Trayvon Martin" stenciled in black letters on back.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, put on his sweatshirt before addressing the Senate.
Martin's Feb. 26 death has reignited a national debate about race. The 17-year-old was wearing a hoodie when he was shot and killed in Sanford, Fla., by George Zimmerman, a self-described neighborhood watch captain. Zimmerman claimed self-defense under Florida's "stand your ground" law and has not been charged.
Martin's family and those who support them say he was a victim of racial profiling and that law enforcement officials haven't adequately investigated the teen's death.
Hoodie-wearing protesters around the country have said Martin's killing is part of a larger pattern of injustice against African American men. On Wednesday, Rep. Bobby Rush, a Democrat from Illinois, wore a hooded sweatshirt on the floor of the House of Representatives. Rep. Gregg Harper, a Mississippi Republican who was presiding over the chamber, kicked Rush out of the chamber for violating a dress code ban on hats.