Toledo leaders call for change after Zimmerman trial - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Toledo leaders call for change after Zimmerman trial

State Rep. Michael Ashford State Rep. Michael Ashford
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The verdict in the George Zimmerman trial is motivating some people in the Toledo area to call for a change in the racial environment.

Political leaders are hoping now is the time for this discussion. They say a rally this weekend, which will coincide with rallies across the nation, may be a call for action.

"We need to have a systemic commitment to looking at what's going on in our society," said former mayor Jack Ford. "We shouldn't wait until we have our own Trayvon Martin."

Ford spoke about race and the Zimmerman verdict during a fundraiser for his bid to run for city council member. He criticized the courts in Lucas County.

"Everybody knows that the juvenile justice and the adult criminal justice system in this area, as in most areas, has a tremendous racial bias in it," he said. "If you go down to the jail, most of you would be stunned by the blackness you see."

State Rep. Michael Ashford (D-44th District) says as he's traveled the area, he's heard from passionate people about the Trayvon Martin case.

"There's a concern about what happened," Ashford said. "And to bring awareness and try to get people engaged in some type of positive way."

Both men are calling on demonstrators to do that in a peaceful way this Saturday. The rally will be at 5:30 p.m. in front of the courthouse in downtown Toledo.

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Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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