Hoodies Worn at NYC Church in Memory of Slain Teen

Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie when he was shot to death in Sanford, Fla.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Congregants wear hoodies during a service at Middle Collegiate Church Sunday. Church-goers were invited to wear hoodies to services to show their support for justice in the case of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager who was wearing a hoodie on the night he was killed by a neighborhood watch captain in Florida.

    Members of the clergy and congregation at a New York City church wore hooded sweatshirts at a Sunday morning service in memory of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager shot to death in Florida.

    A sign outside the Middle Collegiate Church urged worshippers to wear hoodies, and dozens could be seen in the pews.

    As the service started, Associate Minister Chad Tanaka Pack pulled a black hoodie over his own head and led a prayer "for all who have been affected by the acts of human violence."

    Martin was wearing a hoodie when he was slain in the town of Sanford on Feb. 26. The shooting has set off a nationwide furor.

    Rev. Jacqui Lewis said during the service, "A hoodie should not allow for profiling to happen. That's what it's about.

    "We're standing in solidarity for Trayvon... and all of the countless, nameless black young children -- that when they are seen in hoodies, are thought to be dangerous," she said.

    Parishioner Jennifer Petkos made sure her young daughter, Amelia Rose, had on a hoodie.

    "I hope for her in her future that she'll be judged on what she has on the inside," Petkos said. "Not by what she looks like on the outside."

    Church officials estimated there were about 400 to 425 people in attendance and said every seat in the room was filled, with an additional 50 people in an overflow room.

    Martin's death has set off a nationwide debate over race and justice. Crime watch volunteer George Zimmerman, whose father is white and mother is Hispanic, claimed self-defense and has not been arrested. State and federal authorities are investigating.

    Before the service ended, Lewis asked those in the church to sign a petition calling on the arrest of Zimmerman. More than 1 million people nationwide have already signed a similar petition.

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