The couple appeared at a rally in New York City, where Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, was protesting Stand Your Ground laws, the Huffington Post reports. Similar events took place in more than 100 American cities yesterday, a week after neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was found not guilty on all counts for the fatal shooting of unarmed 17-year-old Martin.
Community activist Al Sharpton acknowledged the presence of the two stars in a speech to the crowd. “Jay Z and Beyonce said they didn’t want to speak and they didn’t come for a photo op,” Sharpton said. “Let me tell you, that before a lot of you were down, Jay Z always supported us.”
“Jay Z told me, ‘I’m a father. Beyoncé is a mother.’ We all feel the pain and apprehension – the laws must protect everybody, or it doesn’t protect anybody,” he continued. “We do not come from hate, we come from love of children.”
In his Yankee Stadium concert with Justin Timberlake the night before the rally, Jay Z had dedicated the song “Young Forever” to Martin. Beyoncé had called for a moment of silence for Martin during her Nashville concert the night the verdict was handed down, followed by the chorus of “I Will Always Love You.”