By Rachel Leigh| March 21, 2012 at 1:46 PM EST - Updated June 26 at 6:37 PM
FORT PIERCE, FL (WFLX) - A call to action is ringing out across the nation, after Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot and killed. The man who admits to killing Martin was never charged.
NAACP leaders in Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin Counties are outraged by the death.
St. Lucie County branch president Eddie Whitfield, 68, believes Martin was targeted because he was black.
He says the case reminds him of the struggle for equality he witnessed during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. "It just opens up wounds that our fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers was going through in years past," said Whitfield.
Martin, of Miami Gardens, walked through a Sanford neighborhood with tea and candy last month, when George Zimmerman began to follow him. He claimed his suspicions were aroused.
Zimmerman says, he shot the unarmed teen in self-defense. The case has sparked a national outcry, in part because Zimmerman was not arrested.
Whitfield believes racism is at work in this case. He argues that Martin's death in Sanford is a reminder that the struggle for justice goes on. "His human rights as a human being were violated. We can't say what we're going to be when we're born. We're born black, white, Hispanic," listed Whitfield.
The local NAACP president plans to attend an NAACP rally on March 31 in Sanford, lending his voice to a story now at the center of a national debate.
There's also a rally planned Thursday in Gifford, from 4 to 7 p.m., in front of Old Macedonia Church, across from Gifford Middle School.
Mothers and others will hold signs, encouraging what they call "justice" for Trayvon Martin.
Wednesday's Washington Post quoted unnamed federal lawyers as saying the case against Zimmerman would be difficult to prosecute, since he is not a law enforcement officer.