DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -

The Rev. Al Sharpton defended his involvement in the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin shooting case, saying he only came to Florida because Martin's family asked.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that Sharpton gave the Sunday sermon at the Greater Friendship Baptist Church, which was celebrating the 10th anniversary of its pastor taking the pulpit. Sharpton is friends with the Rev. L. Ronald Durham.

Sharpton touched on the recent case of a Volusia County beach patrol officer who was fired for calling Martin a "thug" on Facebook. Sharpton said the man had a right to call Martin whatever he wanted, but the public had the right to demand his firing.

Zimmerman was acquitted earlier this summer of murdering Martin in nearby Seminole County in a trial that received national coverage.

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