CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There were songs and prayers Thursday night at a Charlotte church in memory of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager shot to death by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida.
Betty Leake brought her young son to the service.
"I just want to show my son a different way," she said.
She said the acquittal of Zimmerman should lead to tough gun control laws. "I'm hoping these rallies cause our legislators to take a look at it and make some changes for the better."
Deborah Robles brought her son too.
"That could have been my son, so Trayvon Martin's mom, I feel her pain," she said.
The service was organized by civic activist John Barnett, who is collecting signatures for a petition asking the U.S. Justice Department to pursue civil rights charges against Zimmerman.
"And as a very special part of the service, we are going to acknowledge all the mothers, parents, who have lost loved ones through murder and violence," said Barnett.
As many as 200 people gathered at the Temple Church International for the vigil and service.
Barnett is organizing another rally for Saturday at noon outside the federal court building in Charlotte.